IND vs AUS, 1st T20I: Three Key Takeaways from India's perspective
India lost to Australia in the 1st T20I [PC: Twitter]
Riding on heroic knocks from Cameron Green and Matthew Wade, Australia steamrolled India comprehensively in the high-scoring affair in Mohali on Tuesday.
It was India's third defeat in their last four T20Is while defending the target. With the T20 World Cup around the corner, bowling has become a massive concern for team India. Let's analyse what were the major takeaways for India from this game.
Dinesh Karthik's batting form is worrisome
Karthik has been unimpressive of late [PC: Twitter]
Dinesh Karthik made his T20I comeback in the home series against South Africa on the back of a string of impressive outings in the IPL 2022. He impressed instantly, scoring 92 runs, including two very impactful knocks, at a magnificent strike rate of 158.62 in the series. However, the 37-year-old veteran has failed to replicate the same level of success since then.
In his last 11 T20I innings, Karthik has managed only 107 runs at an ordinary average of 13.37 and a mediocre strike rate of 116.30.
The fireworks from Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav had set the ideal stage for Karthik to thrive in yesterday's game. But instead, he registered another failure, scoring only six runs before being trapped in front by Nathan Ellis.
KL Rahul's intent in the powerplay: a big positive for India
Rahul batted superbly last night [PC: Twitter]
Indian captain Rohit Sharma, who performs the aggressor's job in the powerplay these days, was dismissed cheaply by Josh Hazlewood yesterday. However, his partner KL Rahul didn't disappoint the team, as he smashed his way through to a blistering 35-ball 55 with the help of four boundaries and three humongous sixes.
More importantly, he pressed the accelerator to up the ante in the powerplay, which was a relieving sign for team India. The stylish Karnataka batter garnered 22 runs at a strike rate of 157.1, recording his best-ever performance in the first six overs in T20Is this year.
Death bowling: an elephant in the room
Bhuvneshwar has been poor in the death overs [PC: Twitter]
Indian bowlers' incompetency in the death overs on good batting decks was yet again exposed in the first T20I, as they couldn't defend 54 runs in the last four overs.
Harshal Patel and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, considered as two top contenders to shoulder India's bowling alongside Jasprit Bumrah in the World Cup months ago, went for 52 runs in the 17-20 overs phase, highlighting the need for reforms in the bowling department.
With the showpiece event only a month away, the Men in Blue need to figure out their third seamer who could assist Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh in the slog overs.
Apart from these points, Axar Patel's superb spell on the flat Mohali surface with dew around was a morale booster for Team India. However, the Men in Blue have to improve their fielding standards, as being sloppy and dropping catches emerged as significant reasons behind their debacle.
Also Read: IND vs AUS: Jasprit Bumrah's absence makes a big difference: Hardik Pandya