Indian Bowling in Focus as both Teams Eye Series Win
The weather allowed only an 8-over game in Nagpur as India made a strong comeback to leave the series hanging in the balance. However, there are more than a few areas of concern for the Indian team heading into the series decider.
The return of their ace bowler – Jasprit Bumrah – lifted the spirits of their bowling lineup. However, Harshal Patel conceded 32 runs in just 2 overs. India consider Harshal as their specialist death bowler, but he was taken to the cleaners by Matthew Wade.
Moreover, Chahal’s form hasn’t been great in T20 international cricket this year. As India’s main wicket-taker in the middle overs, Chahal is an incredibly important part of their bowling lineup.
Talking about the Aussies, they have formed a well-settled team combination for the upcoming T20 World Cup. Although David Warner is not featuring in this series, Cameron Green and Aaron Finch are getting Australia to a flyer.
Matthew Wade and Tim David are finishing strong, while the experience of Maxwell and Smith is stabilizing the middle order.
Their prime wicket-taker with the old ball –Adam Zampa – is bowling with great control. The only area of concern could be their fast bowling. Pat Cummins has done well, but Hazelwood conceded 20 runs in his maiden over in the 2nd game. Danial Sams and Sean Abbot also struggled to control the flow of runs.
Therefore, the pace attack of both teams needs some attention ahead of the series decider.
In the Spotlight
KL Rahul is an amazingly talented batsman and a consistent performer in the shortest format of the game. But, he has had too many failures in recent times. In the recent Asia Cup, he failed twice in crunch games – once against Pakistan and once against Sri Lanka. Considering the recent form of Deepak Hooda, KL Rahul would love to get a big score in the series finale to cement his place in the playing XI.
Steve Smith has been short of runs in T20 cricket for more than a year now. During the last year’s T20 World Cup, he struggled the whole tournament. Like KL, he also needs some runs to regain his confidence. If he doesn’t, there could be question marks over his inclusion in the first choice XI for the World Cup. With the likes of Stoinis and Inglis in the World Cup squad, there is certainly a possibility of Smith missing out from the final XI. Hence, he will do his best to avoid it.
Conditions and Weather
Rain gods will continue to play a role in this T20 series. The chances of rain during the game hours range from 47% to 51%. Therefore, we might witness another reduced game on Sunday. The pitch in Hyderabad should favour the batters, and a high-scoring game can be on the cards. The team winning the toss will prefer to bowl first.
Harshal Patel was quite expensive in the last game. So, the skipper may consider giving Deepak Chahar a go ahead of him.
Also, India is likely to go with 6 bowling options. Hence, Rishabh Pant can make room for Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal
The Australian team looks settled apart from the pace department. They can consider bringing back Ashton Agar for Danial Sams and go with only 5 bowling options.
Probable XI: Aaron Finch (c), Cameron Green, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Tim David, Matthew Wade (wk), Daniel Sams, Sean Abbott, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
What They Said
“Not just in Indian cricket, but even in world cricket, his ability to play pace is second to none. And that’s what makes him very special as a batsman.”
Dinesh Karthik was all praises for the Indian skipper after his stellar knock in the 2nd T20I.
“He is such a calm customer at the back end of the inning. He’s really grown in that finishing role and has done a wonderful job there.”
The Aussie captain is delighted to see Matthew Wade finishing games at will for Australia.