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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

India looks to Bumrah’s return to square series


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Nagpur: Going into the match 0-1 against Australia, India here on Friday will look to square the three-match series amidst hopes of Jasprit Bumrah’s return on a track that is an antithesis of high-scoring Mohali wicket.

Over 400 runs were scored by India and Australia in the last match, but the track at the Vidarbha Cricket Association looks slowish. The Indian attack led by Bumrah would like to use it to their advantage.

India lost the first match by 4 wickets.

Expectations of Bumrah playing the second match are pretty high, considering the bowling performance of Indian bowlers led by Bhuvaneshwar Kumar which has been below par as far too many runs were conceded towards the end of the innings.

The Pakistanis, the Sri Lankans and the Australians have been very severe on Bhuvi in his 19th over, which has been quite a surprise element for the Indian fans.

Bumrah has been out of action since the end of England tour due to back injury.

Yuzvendra Chahal’s bowling also has raised question marks as he seems to have lost incisiveness to trouble the batsmen on belter of pitches. However, Axar Patel has proved his mettle straight away after making a comeback in place of the injured Ravindra Jadeja. He bagged 3/17 in the first T20I against Australia at Mohali.

The Indian think tank led by captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid may try out Ravichandran Ashwin on a track that suits bowlers. Harshal Patel and Umesh Yadav will be looking to make special contributions in Friday’s clash.

Fielding also has been a worry for India as they dropped three catches in the previous match and also dropped during Asia Cup encounters.

Not only Indian bowling, but also Australian attack has been worrisome. Besides Nathan Ellis, all the Australian bowlers went for runs and an economy rate of more than 7. Cameron Green and Pat Cummins gave away 67 runs in the final five overs in the last match.

In all, death overs bowling is the only concern that Australia has at the moment.

In batting, Rohit and Virat Kohli would like to right the wrongs they committed in the last match. KL Rahul, Surya Kumar Yadav (SKY) and Hardik Pandya would like to continue their blitzkrieg, which took India’s total to 200-plus runs.

With the world cup fast approaching, the management could test either Dinesh Karthik or Rishabh Pant. The former hardly get a chance to showcase his talent as a finisher in the last match.

Australia, on the other hand, looked a team on song even in the absence of David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Marsh.

All-rounder Cameron Green exquisitely filled the gap left by Warner by hammering a fifty in his very second T20I , while Steven Smith and debutant Tim David strung cameos.

The experienced Matthew Wade saw Australia cross the line after his side was in trouble in middle overs. He made a fantastic unbeaten 45 off 21 balls. The presence of experienced Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell makes Australia look even more menacing.

The Australian bowlers however would like to improve their performance after they got the hammering from Indian batters, who went after Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Green in Mohali.


India: Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul (vc), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandaran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.

Australia: Aaron Finch (C), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.

Match starts at 7.30 IST.

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