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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 July 2024

India vs Bangladesh, T2O World Cup 2024 Super 8: Spin in the tale gives India upper hand

The team management and chief selector Ajit Agarkar’s strategy to survive on a diet of spin and pick four tweakers for the T20 World Cup raised questions about their efficacy

Indranil Majumdar Calcutta Published 22.06.24, 10:27 AM
Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma The Telegraph

Rohit Sharma has a habit of keeping cards close to his chest and in the process, leaving others flummoxed.

The team management and chief selector Ajit Agarkar’s strategy to survive on a diet of spin and pick four tweakers for the T20 World Cup raised questions about their efficacy.

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Only three specialist pacers in an overseas World Cup seemed out of place and illogical. But Rohit didn’t wish to reveal much on the tactics devised for the slow and sluggish Caribbean pitches.

“I don’t want to go too much into details... I’m sure opposition captains are listening to this,” Rohit said at his first news conference in Mumbai after the selection last month.

“We’ve played a lot of cricket in the West Indies. We know what the conditions are like. With morning starts at 10-10.30am, there’s a little bit of technical aspect involved in this,” the Team India captain kept everyone guessing.

The first match of their Super Eight campaign threw enough light into what Rohit had been trying to forecast. He had gauged the spinners’ relevance in the middle overs and hence the decision to pick two left-arm orthodox and two wrist spinners.

The Indian strike force could emerge as the tournament’s one of the most potent and fearsome. In seamer-friendly conditions in New York, the trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh and Mohammed Siraj emerged triumphant in the company of Hardik Pandya.

The way the spin combination of Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav settled into a line and called the shots after the Powerplay on Thursday crippled the free-flowing and unpredictable Afghan batters.

It’s no secret that tearaway quick Bumrah’s spell on the slow Kensington Oval wicket allowed the spinners to operate with much authority. The variation in India’s attack, the inclusion of three left-arm spinners notwithstanding, was enough to rattle Afghanistan as the ball gripped and turned off the surface.

Even Rashid Khan returned to his lethal best on Thursday. His 3/26 threatened to derail India but the excellence of Suryakumar Yadav came in the way.

How the England duo of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali managed to quell the threat
of the big-hitting West Indies batters the other day once again emphasised the relevance of quality spinners in these conditions.

The Australians too have been riding the success of Adam Zampa, one of the canniest and understated middle-overs operators.

Rohit had worked on his creative self in determining the secret success formula on West Indian pitches much in advance. He will perhaps vaunt about his confidential game plan if it helps the team end their ICC trophy drought.

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