The 2022 ICC T20 World Cup in Australia is knocking on the door with every single passing day and India who were kicked out of its last edition in UAE due to their poor performances were eager to turn the tables on this time around.
The Story of the tied home South Africa series:
After the final T20I was cancelled owing to rain with only 3.3 overs of play conceivable, India and South Africa split the five-match T20I series, tied at 2-2.
The first T20I saw their attacking mode from the beginning to the end to notch up a mountain which was easily destroyed thanks to David Miller’s counter attacking knock.
India was close in their second T20I when their prime bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar to defend a low score almost broke the back of the Proteas in the powerplay but a rescue innings from Henrich Klassen progressed the opponents home.
However, on the third T20 Ruturaj Gaikwad scored 57 runs in 35 balls and hit 7 boundaries and 2 sixes, While Ishan Kishan scored 54 runs in 35 balls and Harshal Patel took 4 wickets and produced 25 runs and India defeated South Africa.
India were probably not overly bothered with the outcomes in the series when they came back from being down 2-0 to even the score at 2-2 before rain spoiled the last T20I.
The major objective was to solidify their plans for the international tournament, which is the T20 World Cup, and will be held in Australia in around four months.
So, let’s take a look at the five takeaways from their home series:
Karthik replicates himself in international cricket:
After a fantastic IPL season with the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Dinesh Karthik was considered for India in a specific position. Head coach Rahul Dravid described Karthik as an “enforcer” in the final five overs. It wasn’t certain if he could perform as well on a global scale as he did in the IPL.
India put him to the test in the position for which he was selected. In order to ensure it, they even sent Axar Patel ahead of Karthik at No. 6 in the thirteenth over of the second T20I in Cuttack.
Karthik didn’t let anyone down despite a slow start on a difficult Cuttack pitch, scoring an unbeaten 30 off 21.
Rise of Hardik Pandya, the All-Rounder:
Hardik scored 30 runs in three of the four innings and had a series-high strike rate of 153.94.
He had a 12.20 economy rate with the ball, but India would be pleased that he completed five over in three innings without experiencing any pain.
Iyer Fails to grab his chance:
Shreyas Iyer was in the starting lineup for all five games despite competition from numerous other hitters for the lone open middle-order position.
He only managed to get back 94 runs at a strike rate of 123.68, though.
Things are not looking good for Iyer with Suryakumar Yadav returning for the Ireland series and Karthik taking up one batting spot.
The Swinging return of Bhuvi:
When Jasprit Bumrah was on break, Bhuvneshwar Kumar led India’s speed attack and did a good enough job to win Player of the Series.
He showed his skill again by moving the new ball in both directions to slow down the South African batters. Overall, he had a 6.07 economy rate, which was the lowest of anyone who bowled more than five overs in the series. He also got six wickets, which was tied for the second-most in the series.
It’s no surprise that Bhuvneshwar is like a child in a toy store right now. The ball swings toward him and stays in the air for a long time., In modern cricket, there aren’t many players who know how to use a swinging ball better than Bhuvneshwar.
Even in the last T20I series against England, he crated nightmares or the England openers to take four wickets and was awarded the player of the series award.
India's Mr. 360 @surya_14kumar peppered all parts of the ground in a magnificent century at Trent Bridge 💯🤩
Out of all those glorious shots, which one was your favourite? 🧐
— Sony Sports Network (@SonySportsNetwk) July 11, 2022
India blew away England by 2-1 margin:
In the first T20I, Hardik Pandya scored 51 runs in 33 balls and took 4 wickets in 33 balls, While Surya Kumar Yadav scored 39 runs in 19 balls. India won by 50 runs.
The confidence was very much high for India in the second T20I where Ravindra Jadeja scored 46 runs in 29 balls, While Rishabh Pant scored 26 runs in 15 balls and India bowled out England in the 17 overs and won by 49 runs. The star performance was both Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah who broke the opponents back by piking vital powerplay wickets.
India could not sustain their winning momentum in Nottingham but it does not matter as the approach of the Indian team was fearless. Suryakumar Yadav deposited his maiden T20I century in a losing cause.
End of Virat Kohli Before in World cup side?
It is one of the most important debates and also too early to predict his T20 Future. Therefore, with an average of 50 and also a strike rate of 138, Kohli is almost un-droppable. But the game isn’t played looking at the stats.
The position of Kohli in the team is currently the subject of heated debate. \Does Kohli fit into India’s starting lineup for the T20 World Cup? In this T20I series against England, Virat Kohli faced nine balls throughout the course of two innings and didn’t shine up at all.
Of five of them, he tried to make limits. A four over wide mid-on and a six straight down the ground were two of them, while the other three got him out twice and produced two classic Kohli boundaries. Perhaps it is true that this is not Kohli’s best approach based on his T20 history.
Given the length of the Australian grounds, every team may require someone who can put the balls in the gap and tick the scorecard. His lifetime average in Tests is 49.53 (SR: 55.68) and in ODIs is 58.07 (SR: 92.92), despite a significant decline over the previous 30 months.
His career T20I average is 51.50, and his strike rate is 137.67. Why then is there such a stir about Kohli’s participation in T20Is?
Therefore, it is too early to predict Virat Kohli’s future in the T20 team
The Bowling Group ahead of the World cup –Chahal, Bumrah, Bhuvi, Jadeja, and Avesh:
Currently, Bhuvneshwar is a kid in a Kandy shop. The ball is swinging long and hard for him. Accordingly, after two games, he has a 6-1-25-4 record. He acknowledged that he is inclined to bowl in swing-outswing-inswing-outswing to impress people. And only a few selected players in modern cricket are more adapted at using the swinging ball than Bhuvneshwar with full control.
It will be a nice combination with Bumrah, Avesh; Chahal and Jadeja will be the spinning options.
The rise of Arshdeep Singh:
Fast bowler Arshdeep Singh made his Indian team debut in the opening T20I of the three-game series against England at Southampton.
Arshdeep, who missed the home series against South Africa, was spotted receiving the cap from Rohit. His IPL 2022 season was incredibly successful playing for Punjab Kings.
India Needs to look at and address the issue of Middle Order batting:
Captain and openers Rohit Sharma and perhaps KL Rahul appear to have locked spots on the roster.
India’s Middle order is one of the biggest challenges over the past year, the gap has been filled alternately by Rishabh Pant, Sky and Hardik Pandya. As the team’s best wicket-keeper option, Pant would continue to be indispensable, but the lineup still needs at least one more reliable finisher.
The ICC T20 World Cup 2022 is coming up in less than five months, so the selectors have some time before they have to make important decisions. They play a five match T20I series in the Caribbean before having Asia Cup and a home Australia series to structure their World Cup squad.