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regular-article-logo Saturday, 02 March 2024

Team India’s planning, preparation for T20 World Cup is on, says Axar Patel

India do have a scope to experiment a little bit on Sunday, like bringing Tilak Varma back into the XI or including off-spinner all-rounder Washington Sundar

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 03.12.23, 08:26 AM
India players at practice during the T20I series against Australia. The hosts have won the series with the final game to go on Sunday.

India players at practice during the T20I series against Australia. The hosts have won the series with the final game to go on Sunday. PTI picture

The T20I series win over Australia with an unbeatable 3-1 lead does come as a consolation for the Indian cricket fraternity. More so, as the series began inside four days after India’s forgettable six-wicket loss to the Australians in the ODI World Cup final last month.

The series is done and dusted, but winning the fifth and final encounter at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Ba­ngalore on Sunday and finishing with a 4-1 scoreline will certainly be a further boost for the morale of captain Suryakumar Yadav and his teammates, especially with not many days left for the three T20Is versus South Africa.

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Beginning on December 10 in Durban, that series is expected to be a tougher one as the Proteas will be playing at home, most likely including most of their regulars. Unlike Australia, who have fielded practically their ‘A’ side in the ongoing series.

India do have a scope to experiment a little bit on Sunday, like bringing Tilak Varma back into the XI or including off-spinner all-rounder Washington Sundar. Bringing Varma back though is easier as any one of the top four in the batting line-up could be rested. But who does Sundar replace, if he does feature in the XI?

India, however, can afford to rest either leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi or left-armer Axar Patel, who have both been consistent with their performances and played a vital role in the series win.

“Throughout the series, he has been bowling well and our partnership has also been great,” Axar said about bowling in tandem with Bishnoi.

“He has bowled in the Powerplay so have I, and that combination has been good.”

T20 Cup in mind

In spite of taking the most number of wickets (five) for India in the series after Bishnoi (seven scalps), Axar didn’t find a place in the South Africa T20Is with Ravindra Jadeja returning. But he’s optimistic of his inclusion in the squad for the T20 World Cup in June.

“Before the T20 World Cup, I don’t think India have a lot of T20 games scheduled. So, we have to plan from now and prepare as there’s the World Cup in June and the IPL in between. The planning is going on.”

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