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T20 World Cup: Batting and bowling are in check for Team India

Updated on: 21 October,2021 08:11 AM IST  |  Dubai
Santosh Suri |

Team India tick key boxes with comprehensive wins in two warm-up games ahead of Sunday’s T20 World Cup opening clash against arch-rivals Pakistan

T20 World Cup: Batting and bowling are in check for Team India

India’s opening batsman Rohit Sharma en route his 60 against Australia during the second warm-up match at Dubai yesterday

India ensured that they will open their T20 World Cup campaign on Sunday with supreme confidence as their top guns have hit top form.

Led by vice-captain Rohit Sharma, India convincingly defeated Australia by eight wickets with 13 balls to spare in their second warm-up game at the ICC Cricket Academy ground in Dubai Sports City on Wednesday. India had also got the better of England in a high-scoring game on Monday in their first warm-up game.  

For a change, regular skipper Virat Kohli took a backseat and allowed Rohit to take charge of the match.  The only activity Kohli had on the day, besides fielding, was bowling two economical overs of medium pace, though it surely is not an indication that he is India’s sixth bowling option. Later, Kohli preferred to have a long dig in the nets, leaving the field to the other batsmen to get a good look-in.

Openers in full flow

The most heartening part for India was their opening pair Rohit and KL Rahul hitting top form after Australia posted 152 for five in their 20 overs. The way the two batted augurs well for the battles ahead. It is the form of the Top 5 batsmen, which is crucial. And with openers in good nick, Kohli, Ishan Kishan or Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant will provide solidity to the batting.

Senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin adjusts the field. Pics/AFP
Senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin adjusts the field. Pics/AFP

Rohit got a half-century before he retired, allowing Hardik Pandya to have time in the middle before the victory was achieved. Suryakumar Yadav (38 not out) must have given his team satisfaction with the way he played. Pandya coming out early for the second time in as many matches to finish off things, it gives an indication of his role in the team as a finisher. So, in the two warm-up games, all the batsmen have had at least one good outing, with Rahul the most impressive in both games.

Shami, Bumrah rested

On the bowling front, India rested pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, which led to Rohit commenting in jest at the toss that he saw Kohli as the sixth bowling option with only two pacers in Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur available. The Indian think-tank have utilised all options, including allowing Kishan to keep wickets and giving Pant a rest, and checking in on the form and fitness of bowlers like Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy. After the two warm-up games, there is no doubt the Indian team management would have worked out their likely XI for the opening match against Pakistan on Sunday.

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