Shreyas Iyer who showcased his exceptional show with the willow in the 50-over World Cup played his first international match in the T20 over after a year. He played his last T20I match against New Zealand last November
Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar (Pic: File Pic)
The ever-milling modern-day sport does not allow extended celebrations and India, in the immediate aftermath of their T20I series triumph, will have to hit game mode and treat the India vs Australia 5th match T20 2023 on Sunday as a workshop to fit two key pieces in their grooves ahead of an exacting assignment. Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Chahar will have significant roles to play in the T20Is against South Africa, beginning on December 10.
Shreyas Iyer who showcased his exceptional show with the willow in the 50-over World Cup played his first international match in the T20 over after a year. He played his last T20I match against New Zealand last November. So, Iyer will be looking to rack in some runs and he will be longing for an outing at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, where he cracked a hundred against Netherlands not so long ago in the one-day showpiece.
India's speedster Deepak Chahar found himself in a similar scenario as Shreyas Iyer. In fourth T20I against Australia, Chahar picked two wickets of Tim David and Matthew Short and conceded 44 runs in his four-over spell. He does not have to worry about the series result as the Suryakumar-led Indian side is leading 3-1 over the Aussies.
The team management will also keep an eye on Washington Sundar's performance ahead of South Africa's T20I series. Sundar kept moving in and out of the team due to injuries but has managed a return to India colours during the T20I against New Zealand at Ahmedabad on February 1 earlier this year, though he did not bat or bowl in that match.
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Since then, Sundar played five more T20Is two against Ireland at Malahide and three matches at the Hangzhou Asian Games -- underlining his improved fitness levels. While that can be termed as satisfactory, Sundar picked up only two wickets from those matches and all of them came against Bangladesh in the Asiad semifinals.
Hence, the management will be keen to give Sundar a go against the Australians and he might be accommodated in place of left-arm spinner Axar Patel, who was not included in India's T20I squad to face South Africa. The confidence that he can eke out from a good effort against Australia does not have any real replacement.
Other than that, India have ticked several boxes over the course of the last four matches.Suryakumar, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Rinku Singh, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ishan Kishan, who may come back in place of Jitesh Sharma, were among runs, while leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi has taken seven wickets to top the bowling chart and they would like to keep the momentum going.
On the other hand, the Aussies have nothing to lose now as Matthew Wade and company would like to return home with a victory, an apt epilogue to their country's highly fruitful stint in Indian shores over the last two months.
India: Suryakumar Yadav (captain), Shreyas Iyer (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Shivam Dubey, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar.
Australia: Matthew Wade (captain), Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Ellis, Chris Green, Aaron Hardie, Travis Head, Ben McDermott, Josh Philippe, Tanveer Sangha, Matt Short, Kane Richardson.
The match starts at 7 PM IST.
(With agency inputs)