T20 World Cup: What Team India Needs To Raise Its Game | Cricket News


India lost to South Africa in the ongoing T20 World Cup on Sunday. But thanks to earlier wins against Pakistan and the Netherlands, Men in Blue remain masters of their own destiny. If they win against Bangladesh on Wednesday and Zimbabwe on Sunday in their two remaining Super 12 matches, Rohit Sharma’s men should progress to the semi-finals.
Still, rough spots remain. And while there is much debate about KL Rahul‘s form, there are several other areas that need urgent attention.
1. Reduce dot balls: In the 2021 World Cup held in UAE and Oman, Indian batsmen ended up playing 54 balls against New Zealand and 46 against Pakistan. In other words, a staggering 42 percent of deliveries were not accounted for. Little has changed in this regard. In the ongoing World Cup, India failed to score 46 balls against Pakistan and 57 balls against South Africa. A total of 43% of the deliveries went off without a hitch. In both these matches, India suffered early setbacks. Which means that the batsmen would have avoided the high-risk shot for some time. It is common knowledge that singles and twins are essential in such situations. The high number of no-run deliveries indicates an inability to rotate the strike. On Perth’s fast and bouncy pitch, the openers took 10 balls to get off the mark. Rohit and Rahul had just one wicket in the first 12 deliveries they faced. Even Karthik failed to make the score tick, making only 6 off 15 balls.
2. Beat the logs: In the last over of India’s crucial match against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup this September, both ‘keeper’ Pants and bowler Arshdeep failed to hit the stumps with their throws. Throughout the tournament, the Indian team could not find the target, even from close quarters. That shortcoming continues. Against Pakistan, Kohli failed to run out Shan Masood with all three wickets in sight. Masood then had to score more points. He remained unbeaten for 52. On the last ball of the Pak innings, Bhuvi and Karthik again failed to hit the stumps and thus gave away two extra runs. Against South Africa on Sunday, poor shooting skills manifested again. Rohit Sharma twice missed chances to throw and send the stumps from handshake distance Mark frame packaging. This has cost India dearly. At the other end, Shakib Al Hasan’s quick pickup and perfect aim ran out Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine and decisively swung the game in Bangladesh’s favour.
3. Also improves catch and bump: India’s catching, especially in the deep, and Karthik’s glove work against spinners were sub par. Axar and Ashwin failed to hold on to tough chances on their own bowling. In the match against Pakistan, Masood got a second lease of life after Ashwin dumped him at long leg. Ashwin dived too early, the ball dived and he could only catch it one drop. In the Asia Cup, Arshdeep dropped a doll against Pakistan. The Markram catch that Kohli took against South Africa belongs to the same league. Apart from that, Karthik missed two easy stumps against Netherlands. Spinners Axar and Ashwin suffered.
4. Solve the KL Rahul puzzle: Statistics show that Rahul is a master of bi-laterals where little is at stake. But he often falls short in key matches in major ICC tournaments. In this World Cup, Rahul looked shaky every time he stepped out to bat. He has a strike rate of 65 and a batting average of 7. One can only hope that the team’s vice-captain quickly finds confidence and form.
Coach Dravid doesn’t seem to believe in making too many changes. But Karthik, who failed in his two outings with the bat, suffered a back injury. And if he is unfit, it opens the door for Pant against Bangladesh. The left-hander’s previous record in the shortest form of cricket is hardly great. Nevertheless, opening with Pant could solve some problems of India. For starters, he is an attacking left-hander, and the right-left combination makes the opposition work harder. He also handles pace well and has a match-winning record in Australia, albeit in Tests. And he is much better than Karthik in gloves, especially against spin. It will be interesting what the Indian think tank decides for the Bangladesh match to be played on Wednesday.


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