The first T20I between India and Australia was played on Tuesday, September 20 in Mohali. This match was exactly an example of a high scoring encounter between the teams and yet another reminder of the fact why most captains who won the toss chose to chase in Mohali. The match was won by Australia. Australia’s four wicket win was also another reminder for Team India needs to address few areas of concern. Countdown to T20 World Cup in October has already kicked of.
The last edition of the T-20 World Cup which was held in the year 2021 is the one that even the Men in Blue would not want to have any memories of or considering worth playing, considering the team which was considered one of the favorites to clinch the title, crashed out in the group stage of the tournament itself, marking the first instance of the event that the team is not playing the semi-finals of an ICC conducted event in 9 years.
Australia beat India by four wickets in the first T20 International, to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series of the tournament. Cameron Green’s blistering innings coupled with Matthew Wade’s unbeaten 45 off 21 balls helped the Kangaroos to race to victory with even four balls to spare at last. Earlier, Hardik Pandya (71 not out) and KL Rahul (55) scored smashed brilliant half-centuries to help India reach the score of 208/6 in 20 overs after Australia captain Aaron Finch won the toss and opted to field first which left India in an obvious condition of batting first. Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant were not included in the playing XI of the team.
If one were to take the first T20I between India and Australia on Tuesday as a case study of what needs to improve for Rohit Sharma and the team, the one area that stands out like a sore thumb is death overs bowling in the match. Overall, the Indian bowlers had a bad day in the match. The only stand-out amongst bowlers was Axar Patel, who had figures of 3/17 in the 4 overs taken by him. All the other 5 bowlers had an economy rate of over 11 runs.
Quality opposition will always show up a team’s weaknesses in the match and the Aussies have pointed at a large area of concern for Team India right now and that is death overs bowling again.
Rohit Sharma also gave the same reason in the post match presentation that he too doesn’t think that they bowled well in the match. The statement after the match is hopefully a sign that the Indian team management will be looking to go back to the board, especially for their death overs bowling plans. Strategies should change with the conditions on offer, the opposition etc., but considering this was a 208 first innings score that couldn’t be defended, let’s hope Team India have their plans ready. There are 5 more T20Is before the World Cup event that the team will have to fine-tune for their death-overs in their bowling overs.