IND vs AUS 2022: "Had Bhuvneshwar Kumar played, the target would have been around 80 runs" - Aakash Chopra questions Team India's decision to play an extra batter in a rain-curtailed match 

England & India Net Sessions
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was replaced by Rishabh Pant in the playing XI for the second T20I

Former cricketer Aakash Chopra feels that Team India should have played an extra bowler rather than a batter in the second T20I against Australia on Friday, September 23.

The Men in Blue clawed their way back into the series with a six-wicket win in an eight-overs per side contest at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground in Nagpur.

Rohit Sharma named two changes to the playing XI, where Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah were included in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav. With India only losing four wickets during the run chase, the wicket-keeper batter did not come out to bat. Whereas, Bhuvneshwar Kumar would have been an excellent prospect at the venue which held moisture after the rain spell.

Commenting on Team India's selection for the second T20I, Aakash Chopra said on his YouTube channel:

"Usually teams go with an extra bowler in a shortened match like this, but India did the opposite. Now, Rishabh Pant, who was the extra batter, did not get to bat and had Bhuvneshwar Kumar played, the target would have been around 80 runs."

Hardik Pandya, who bowled with the new ball in the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, found ample swing to beat Aaron Finch's edge a couple of times. Axar Patel was the pick of the bowlers for India with figures of 2-13. Harshal Patel once again proved to be expensive after conceding 32 runs off his two overs.

India ended up conceding 90 runs off eight overs in the first innings, with 19 runs coming off the final over.

"Bumrah looked solid on his return but Harshal Patel is still a problem" - Aakash Chopra

The second T20I against Australia marked Jasprit Bumrah's return from injury. The right-arm pacer last played during the tour of England in 2022 and was ruled out of the Asia Cup 2022 as well. He recorded figures of 1-23 off his two overs, claiming the wicket of Aaron Finch with a searing yorker in the process.

Praising Bumrah for making a formidable return to the side, Chopra said:

"Batting was not as easy on this pitch as it seemed. It was kind of a turning track, the cracks were quite loose, so the ball was misbehaving a bit off the surface. Axar Patel bowled phenomenally, and Bumrah looked solid on his return but Harshal Patel is still a problem."

Team India are scheduled to face Australia in the series decider on Sunday, September 25 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.

Who will win the T20I series between India and Australia? Let us know what you think.

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Edited by Diptanil Roy
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