regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Team India eye parity in crunch tie

In order to keep series alive, India need to focus on ironing out their flaws so that they win second T20I in Lucknow on Sunday

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 29.01.23, 04:51 AM
Washington Sundar during the first T20I against New Zealand in Ranchi on Friday.

Washington Sundar during the first T20I against New Zealand in Ranchi on Friday. PTI picture

All hell shouldn’t break loose with one odd series defeat since there’s still some time left for the mega events — the ODI and T20 World Cups this October and next year, respectively.

But it certainly matters for a few other young cricketers who are out to make a mark for themselves and stay in the reckoning. And of course, for Hardik Pandya, who’s being tipped as India’s regular T20I captain in the future.


With every series win, the prospects of Pandya becoming the skipper in the shortest format will keep gaining prominence. From these perspectives, the remaining two games against New Zealand matter a fair bit for Team India as they trail 0-1 in the ongoing T20I series.

In order to keep the series alive, India need to focus on ironing out their flaws so that they win the second T20I in Lucknow on Sunday and restore parity.

Firstly, the top order failed miserably on a tad spin-friendly and not-so-ideal T20 wicket in Ranchi during the series opener. Also, none of the quicks India fielded on Friday were effective, which included Pandya himself as the captain went wicketless, giving away 33 in his three overs.

“It was just a one-off game. I don’t think we have to fix anything. It was just that the ball was spinning so fast.

“Things would have been very different if we got off to a better start,” spinner all-rounder Washington Sundar, India’s only positive from the first T20I with 2/22 and a 28-ball 50, said.

His views aside, Sundar too agreed about the need for a solid start, which India haven’t been getting since the Sri Lanka T20Is. Shubman Gill, who had been in sensational form in the recent ODIs, scored only seven on Friday. Runs seem to have dried up for Ishan Kishan since his ODI double hundred against Bangladesh last month.

So will it be worth drafting Prithvi Shaw in the top order based on his recent performances for Mumbai at the domestic level? That’s one call the team management may need to take.

Besides, the team also needs to understand that it’s humanly not possible for Suryakumar Yadav to play the rescue act in every game, though he did try and make an impact with his 34-ball 47.

As for the quicks, it’s up to bowling coach Paras Mhambrey to be clear and specific to Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik about the lengths they need to bowl. The inexperience of the young pace duo is showing at times and that has already hurt the team.

Today’s match: India vs New Zealand, 2nd T20I, 7pm, live on Star Sports Network

Warner wary of fatigue

Melbourne: An intense home season has left star Australian opener David Warner “tired and exhausted” ahead of the upcoming Test series in India, beginning on February 9.

The 36-year-old played in multiple formats in a hectic summer, including ODI series against Zimbabwe, New Zealand and England and Tests against the West Indies and South Africa.

Warner also competed in the T20 World Cup at home besides playing half a dozen games for Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League.

“It’s been challenging. I’m quite tired and exhausted,” Warner was quoted as saying by a website.

“It will be a long lead-in to our summer (that includes the ODI World Cup in India). From a personal point of view, I’m going to have to try and work out how to stay nice and fresh,” he added.


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