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Beaten India aim for improved batting in 2nd T20 vs England

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
March 13, 2021 11:47 IST
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IMAGE: India captain Virat Kohli speaks to Rishabh Pant during the first T20 International in Ahmedabad on Friday. Photograph: BCCI

Left shaken by a bunch of world-class operators, the Indian team's white-ball stars will be aiming to put up an improved batting effort in the second T20 International against England in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

 

It was India's first white-ball game in three months and the rustiness of some of the premier shorter format players like KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, and Yuzvendra Chahal's showed in the first game in which the hosts were clinically outplayed.

However, as skipper Virat Kohli talks about players with X-factors doing the job, he would expect Rishabh Pant and Pandya to do a bit more with their explosive hitting, which should not be confined to one audacious reverse scoop (Pant off Jofra Archer) or a falling ramp shot (Pandya off Ben Stokes).

IMAGE: Shikhar Dhawan is bowled by England pacer Mark Wood. Photograph: BCCI

They are more than capable and will be expected to give a far better account of themselves, trying to play more shots square of the wicket like Shreyas Iyer did during his innings of 67 off 48 balls.

Both Pandya (19 off 21 balls) and Pant (21 off 23 balls) weren't able to gauge the pace of the track as Archer and Mark Wood bowled fast and straight denying them any width for the cut shot. The extra bounce also didn't allow them to drive on the up.

"The wicket didn't allow you to hit the kind of shots you wanted to. Shreyas' innings was an example of how you could use the depth of the crease, ride the bounce because there was variable bounce at times, and hit the areas square of the wicket which others failed to do.

"It was just a below-par batting performance and England made us pay for it," Kohli had summed it up aptly at the end of the match.

The captain's acknowledgement of Iyer's performance could well mean that the wait for Suryakumar Yadav might get a tad longer with only one middle-order slot available currently.

However, Kohli's propensity to change his playing XI at the drop of a hat is well documented.

While giving his team's oldest member, Shikhar Dhawan, a couple of matches is perfectly understandable but how long does he want to persist with the left-hander, who looked completely out of sorts during his 4 off 12 balls.

IMAGE: England's players celebrate the wicket of Virat Kohli. Photograph: BCCI

Rohit Sharma, as per Kohli, is rested for a couple of matches having played six consecutive Test matches along with 14 days of hard quarantine at the start of his Australian sojourn.

But Rohit's presence is very necessary at the top of the order and even though no one is really talking about it, it's been long since the Indian skipper has had an impactful T20 performance. He is too good a player to miss out.

The bowling department didn't have enough runs on board to put up a fight but whether one of the three spinners can make way for a tearaway quick like Navdeep Saini remains to be seen.

Perhaps Yuzvendra Chahal could make way for Rahul Tewatia, who may not be as crafty a leg break bowler but certainly a decent one with good batting prowess.

Eoin Morgan, one among the more likeable international captains, has been provided a team that has its bases covered with 12 players plying their trade in the IPL.

Unless something really goes wrong, this England team is a contender to win the T20 World Cup trophy in October this year with way too many powerhouse performers.

Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (w/k), Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Tewatia, Ishan Kishan (w/k).

England: Eoin Morgan (captain), Joss Buttler (w/k), Jason Roy, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Reece Topley, Chris Jordan, Mark Wood, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, Jonny Bairstow, Jofra Archer.

Match starts at 7 pm IST.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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