Former wicketkeeper-batter Saba Karim feels that Team India are improving with every game in the build-up to the T20 World Cup later this year. Karim pointed to the performance of the openers in the first T20I against Sri Lanka as a case in point.
Team India defeated Sri Lanka by 62 runs in Lucknow on Thursday in the opening T20I of the three-match series. Ishan Kishan starred with 89 off 56 balls and featured in an 111-run opening stand with skipper Rohit Sharma (44 off 32).
Discussing India’s performance in the first T20I, Karim said on the Khelneeti podcast:
“There were a lot of positives from the West Indies series. The middle-order finished the games and set targets as well. The efficacy in our bowling also improved. A couple of areas needed improvement - top-order clicking and catching and fielding.”
The former selector added:
“One more box was ticked in the 1st T20I as the top-order did well. The openers did not take a conservative approach in the powerplay. They played with freedom. The way Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan finished was impressive. All this proves that we are improving with every game. This is a very good sign because a team cannot improve without addressing its core and weak areas.”
After Kishan’s exploits, Shreyas Iyer provided the finishing touches to the Indian innings, hammering an unbeaten 57 off 28 deliveries.
“Could be a problem of plenty for selectors” - Reetinder Sodhi on Team India’s World Cup contenders
Former India cricketer Reetinder Sodhi is also pleased with the Men in Blue’s approach in their preparations for the T20 World Cup. Stating that the team think tank is showing clarity of thought, he elaborated:
“India’s target is to prepare for the T20 World Cup. Boxes are being ticked. Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) is doing well, yesterday Ishan also impressed. Shreyas Iyer also got among the runs. Even Rohit Sharma is looking in good form. The big teams prepare well heading into a mega event. There could be a problem of plenty for selectors ahead of the World Cup as they have an excellent pool to pick from.”
After India posted 199 for 2 batting first, the hosts restricted Sri Lanka to 137 for 6. Bhuvneshwar Kumar starred with the ball, returning with figures of 2 for 9. Venkatesh Iyer also chipped in with a couple of wickets.