Fielding, Spinners & Pant: Issues Bugging India Before Rajkot T20I
Rohit said his side was guilty of too many lapses in the field which helped B’desh win their first T20I vs India.
Team India are trailing 0-1 after the first T20 international against Bangladesh in New Delhi. Captain Rohit Sharma said his side was guilty of too many lapses in the field which gave Bangladesh their first T20I victory against their much superior neighbour.
"It was a defendable score, and we made mistakes on the field. The guys are a bit inexperienced, and they can learn from that, perhaps not make them the next time," Rohit admitted during his post-match presentation ceremony.
But fielding wasn’t the only chink in Team India’s armour. Here's a look at the changes Team India need to make ahead of Rajkot T20I to level the series:
Be Better in the Field
It was one of those days at Arun Jaitley stadium in New Delhi. Otherwise a rock solid fielding unit, a younger Indian team was guilty of making rookie mistakes in the field.
When Bangladesh needed 33 runs off 16 balls Mushfiqur Rahim pulled one of Chahal's deliveries straight to Krunal Pandya, who was guarding the deep mid-wicket boundary, only to be dropped.
To make matters worse, the ball went to the fence for a four.
Apart from this, the Indian fielders were also responsible for quite a few misfields which again affected India’s chances in the match.
India did feel the absence of two of their best fielders – Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja – but that is no excuse for a team which has redefined fielding in the last couple of years.
Pant Needs Some Time Off
The young wicket-keeper’s confidence has taken some beating in the last couple of months. Disastrous series one after another hasn’t helped the Delhi batsman.
It was no different for Pant in New Delhi on Sunday, 3 November. The youngster once again struggled with the bat for his unattractive 26-ball 27. His innings had only three boundaries. Not only his batting, his running between the wickets was also very dodgy. In fact, it was a wrong call from Pant which led to the dismissal of a well-settled Shikhar Dhawan.
Pant’s miseries didn’t end when he was standing behind the wicket. His night at his home ground – both domestic and IPL – was marred by fumbles and mediocre glovework.
It look like Pant needs a break to regroup himself and come back stronger. In the meantime, Sanju Samson can replace him in the playing XI, while KL Rahul dons the keeping glove.
Since the World Cup, the best Pant could manage with the bat in Limited Over Internationals is a 65 against West Indies in the third and final T20 international series at Providence.
Better Outing From Spinners
Bangladesh’s maiden victory against India in T20 was not only a product of some great batting from the Bangladeshi cricketers but also some good work by the spinners, who choked India during the middle overs.
The wreckers-in-chief were the duo of Aminul Islam and Afif Hossain, who shared three wickets among themselves while giving away only 33 runs in six overs. Aminul picked up the crucial wickets of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, while the latter looked threatening.
In comparison, Indian spin trio of Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Krunal Pandya cut a sorry figure with only one wicket among themselves. They could not dry up runs, and the Bangladesh batters were happy rotating the strike.
Krunal Pandya was expensive giving away 32 runs from his 4 overs. And it is high-time Washington Sundar accounts for a wicket. The bowler has gone wicketless for his last 4 T20 internationals.
On Indian pitches, spinners will always continue to be an important asset.
Onus is on the Top 4
India will always continue to have a top heavy batting line-up. And it was a similar story against Bangladesh on Sunday.
In the absence of Virat Kohli, the onus was on senior pros Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan to shoulder most of the responsibility with the bat. A fruitful inning from either of the two could have helped India post a more challenging total for the Bangladeshis.
While the skipper looked good during his five-ball stay at the crease, Shikhar never got going for his 42-ball 41. When the southpaw had spent some time at the crease and was looking to change gear, he unfortunately was run-out.
Apart from Rohit and Shikhar, Rahul at number three and Shreyas at number four are also important as far as India’s batting ploy is concerned.
On Sunday, both these batters gave away their wickets after a start. While Rahul took his time for his 17-ball 15, Shreyas stepped on the pedal right from the start. His 13-ball 22 included 2 sixes and a four. But eventually, he also ended up losing his wicket.
For India to make a comeback in the series, it is imperative that these four click in the next two matches. Someone needs to play the role of a sheet anchor, because India boast of some heavy hitters down the line-up.
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