Team India’s top 3 batsmen Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli are not in good form. His eyes are on him in the Asia Cup as the T20 World Cup is near.
Image Credit source: AFP/PTI
It cannot be said that India have entered the Super Four of the Asia Cup after their best performances in both Group A matches against Pakistan and Hong Kong. Although India won both their matches, but many questions are yet to be answered. In which the biggest question is – the form of the top three players in the batting order. Though Virat Kohli scored runs in both the matches, he is still not in his best form. There itself KL Rahul He has failed to prove his return to form after injury. And even from captain Rohit Sharma’s game, the innings that shook the opponents’ spine were missing.
India’s top 3 batsmen are not in form
The lack of form of the top three batsmen can be gauged from the fact that their innings have faded in front of the gleaming batting of Suryakumar Yadav (SKY). If we compare the figures, Rohit, Rahul and Virat faced a total of 96 balls, and contributed 116 runs at a strike rate of 120, while Suryakumar alone scored 68 runs in 24 balls at a strike rate of 283. This means that they scored their runs twice as fast as the famous trio. The four sixes that SKY hit in the last over literally took the match out of Hong Kong’s hands. The margin of victory was hardly 40 runs and if SKY had not played such an aggressive innings, the matter could have been very close.
Virat bows before Suryakumar
Despite his feud with SKY during an IPL match a few years back, Kohli had nothing but praise for him. “He (SKY) walked into the field and completely changed the pace of the game on a pitch that was not that easy to bat on,” Kohli said in an interaction with the BCCI website. The former Indian captain said, “It was a great innings. When we were playing IPL, I saw many such innings from afar, but this was my first time to experience it from so close. I was mesmerized.” Analyzing his performance, SKY said: “Some shots are predetermined, as this format of the game depends on how well you prepare while batting. But it’s also important to be in the present when you’re playing on the field.” The 31-year-old batsman, who has scored six fifties and a century in his 25 T20Is with a strike rate of 177.51 said that he is flexible enough to bat in any conditions as expected by the team management. The man of the match said, “I have told the captain and the coaches that anywhere I will play, just feed me.”
There may be a collision with Pakistan again
After SKY’s performance, India will surely go into their next match against Pakistan on Sunday in a positive mood. But during the match with Hong Kong, there were some issues which were not resolved. The biggest question was, who do you feed as a keeper-batsman – Rishabh Pant or Dinesh Karthik? As neither of them got a chance to bat during the Hong Kong match, the issue remains unresolved ahead of Sunday’s winning Super Four match against Pakistan. Compared to the last match against our arch rival, this match is very important to make it to the finals. Of course, after beating both Afghanistan and Sri Lanka or Bangladesh, the losing team can make it to the final, but it will put tremendous pressure on them.
Avesh Khan in bowling is a cause for concern
On the bowling front, fast bowler Avesh Khan’s performance is uncertain. Their tendency to leak runs can be decisive in close matches, as we haven’t seen any high scoring games on this desert pitch. So, the spinners have actually been more dominant, which may tempt the management to replace Ravichandran Ashwin in the next match. However these days, it is quite difficult to assess what is going on in the mind of the management. Many experiments/changes have been so surprising that they are beyond logic. Like, dropping Pant in the first match against Pakistan and keeping Ashwin instead of leading the bowling in both the matches.
There is no doubt that as the tournament nears its end, all Indian fans wish for the top three batsmen to get back into their attacking form and strike a chord with the bowling force, so that India can reach the finals of September 11. Be ready to beat Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka or Bangladesh before. There is still a lot to see for the team in the rest of the Asia Cup, and their performance will be decisive for the team selection for the ICC T20 World Cup to be held in Australia in October.
T20 World Cup is near
Host Australia has already decided its team for this mega event. But India still has a lot to do before selecting its 15 players for the World Cup. Here it can be expected that the team management will not experiment too much, and will focus on finalizing their team for the World Cup at the earliest. Till then, experts and fans are eagerly waiting and hope that India will not only win the Asia Cup but also continue to do well in the upcoming home series against Australia before going into the World Cup.