Jasprit Bumrah’s fitness status will be a focus as an out-of-the-ordinary Indian team will look into course correction options against Australia in the second T20 International and aim to keep the three-game run alive, in Nagpur on Friday . Bumrah, who has been out of action since the end of the England tour, skipped the Asian Cup due to a back injury. But to everyone’s surprise, the team management did not play him during the first T20I with high scores in Mohali, raising doubts as to whether he was still top fit or not.
Adding to the team’s concerns, the accelerated pace ‘three-and-a-half’ attack, including Hardik Pandya, was awarded 150 runs in 14 overs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the seasoned pro, has already been taken to cleaners. He has leaked 49 runs in the three penultimate overs (19th) he pitched against Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia.
Against this background, a fit and fiery Bumrah is a pre-requisite for India as the home bowlers are increasingly being discovered as batting belters.
The worst part about the team is that with five official T20Is to go before the opening of the T20 World Cup match against Pakistan on October 23, the Indian team is looking very unsettled.
If tackling the top three was a problem going into the Asian Cup, the bigger concern was bowling being exposed to good hitting conditions.
Yuzvendra Chahal, who is India’s go-to spinner under all circumstances, doesn’t look menacing anymore. He’s been expensive in the last few games and he’ll have to find a way to harass the batters on wickets, which doesn’t pay much.
However, all-rounder Axar Patel, who was hired as a like-for-like replacement for the injured Ravindra Jadeja, proved his worth again on Tuesday with a three-wicket-haul.
India was also sloppy on the pitch, as they were guilty of dropping three catches, which drew criticism from former head coach Ravi Shastri.
At batting, India’s aggressive approach paid off as KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav pushed the team past the 200 mark after top hitters Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were ejected early.
Designated finisher Dinesh Karthik didn’t get much of a chance on Tuesday and is likely to get extended playing time, with management looking to keep all options open for the World Cup.
Australia, on the other hand, looked like a well-oiled machine, despite the absence of protagonists like David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Marsh.
All-rounder Cameron Green slipped nicely into Warner’s shoes with a blistering fifty at the top in his second T20I, while Steven Smith and debutant Tim David also gave the team some momentum with pivotal cameos.
The veteran Matthew Wade also fulfilled the role of the finisher with a stellar 45 not out of 21 and India will have to pull its socks up to prevent Australia from freaking out.
However, Australia would hope for a more disciplined show from their bowling unit after the tempo trio Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Green bled runs at Mohali.
However, the wicket in the VCA stadium will be different from the Mohali circuit. It is expected to be on the slower side, which will make the role of bowlers more prominent in this game.
With dew in the evening, teams will rather chase than defend totals.
Squads: Australia: Aaron Finch (C), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Adam zampa.
India: Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul (vc), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandaran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.
(This story was not edited by UK Time News staff and was generated automatically Platforms.)
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