T20 World Cup: Middle order holds key to depleted India’s title aspirations | Cricket News


Hampered by injuries to key players, India will need their batsmen to find an extra gear in Australia to compensate for their bowling limitations if they are to T20 World Cup trophy for a second time.
India, who won the first edition of the tournament in 2007, lost fast bowling spearhead Jasprit Bumrah to a back injury and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja to a knee problem in the run-up to the event.
Bumrah’s absence will not only rob India of his new ball skills, but Rohit Sharma’s team will also miss his pinpoint yorkers and variations in the death overs.
Jadeja required surgery on the injured knee and his accurate bowling in the middle overs, hard batting lower down the order and electric fielding will leave a gaping hole in the side.

Image Credit: T20 World Cup
“Injuries are part of the sport, there is nothing that can be done about it,” Rohit told reporters. “When you play so many games, injuries are bound to happen.
“Our focus in this past year was that we need to build our bank strength.”
The experienced Mohammed Shami has been brought in for Bumrah but has not played international cricket since July, while left-armer Axar Patel will have big shoes to fill as Jadeja’s replacement for India, who open their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday.
Rohit, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli form the top three of India’s batting line-up, but it will be the middle order of Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya and either Rishabh Pant or Dinesh Karthik that will hold the key to their title hopes.
Ranked second in the Official T20 Batsmen Rankings, Yadav has mesmerizing shot-making ability while Pandya’s big-hitting ability is well-documented in white-ball cricket.
Karthik has been a revelation with his all-round batting and finishing ability, but the lack of left-handers in India’s batting line-up could make a case for Pant’s inclusion, at least in some matches, at number six.


Image Credit: T20 World Cup
India’s middle order can be used to make up for slow starts and add those extra runs to provide a bit more of a cushion to their bowlers.
Former coach Ravi Shastri has called India’s current batting line-up their best ever in the shortest format.
“I have been part of the system for the last seven years as a coach and looking at it now from the outside, this is the strongest batting line-up that India has had, if you look at the youth, experience, at players peaking in this format of the game,” he said.


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