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Ind vs Aus T20I: Despite series loss, India must look ahead to the World Cup

Shyam
ANALYST
Feature
432   //    28 Feb 2019, 19:21 IST

The T20I series was all about Glenn Maxwell
The T20I series was all about Glenn Maxwell

Australia was no doubt was the better team in the 2-match T20I series against India. They outplayed the hosts in all departments of the game. India though didn’t play to their full strength as they were experimenting and trying out different permutations and combinations.

In the second game, India was blown away by Maxwell’s innings, but in the first, for India to take it right down to the last ball, defending just a meagre 126 was a remarkable feat.

Virat Kohli playing another blinder
Virat Kohli playing another blinder

The second T-20, India fielded probably one of their weakest bowling sides ever. Apart from Bumrah and Chahal, asking all the others to bowl 4 overs was a tough ask. You can get Krunal to bowl his full quota on a good day, but if Vijay Shankar is asked to bowl 4 overs, you know that the bowling is not top notch. As good as Maxwell’s innings was, Indian bowlers were equally not that great. To add to the misery of the fielders, the dew on the outfield made it hard to grip the ball.

KL Rahul hits his way back into form
KL Rahul hits his way back into form

India should take heart from KL Rahul’s return to form. This more or less guarantees that he would be the reserve opener for the World Cup. The Kohli-Dhoni show in the 2nd T-20 was a delight to watch and a proof of the destruction that can be caused by the two of them.

The big problem for the think tank was Rishabh Pant’s non-performance. In all likelihood, Pant has the edge over Karthik for the WC squad but didn’t do too much in this series to justify that. Karthik too didn’t do too much as in the second match he faced only 3 balls, thus he didn’t have enough time to spend on the wicket to fight for his cause.

India will be sweating over the fitness of Hardik Pandya. There’s no doubt that he will be the preferred all-rounder. Vijay Shankar played really well in the NZ series and is definitely good with the bat. I don’t think that he has the capability to bowl 10 overs in an ODI and that’s where Pandya will have the edge. Not only can Pandya bowl 10 overs, but he is a wicket-taking bowler. The question is only about his fitness. With the IPL coming up and him being a key player for the Mumbai Indians how the team management will manage his workload will be very important.

Even though India lost the series, it is important to remember that players need to be tested for the World Cup. No one will remember the bilateral series if the World Cup is won. The next 5 ODIs will be very crucial for India, and more so for the players who need to cement their place in the squad for the World Cup.

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