Team India is in making for the T20I World Cup
India vs England T20I 5-match series has just concluded and it would be safe to say that all the build-up for this series was worth it. The two best cricketing teams of the worlds came face to face and gave the fans the nail-biting matches that they had been craving for. The suspense was on till the last minute and every cricket fanatic must have loved it.
Both the teams showed quite different strategies. Where team India was open for changes and experiments, team England did not tinker with the squad much. Except for a few changes here and there, they kept their playing XI intact. Kohli tested various combinations and new players including himself coming as the match opener with Rohit Sharma.
It is known to everyone that this T20I series was more of a practice match session for both teams. The host and the guest were preparing themselves for the biggest showdown, the T20 World Cup scheduled in the months of October-November. Team India seems to have a different strategy for the World Cup. Let’s see what Kohli has in store.
Kohli- The Opener
Team India and its fans are habitual of watching KL Rahul open for the team. Rahul’s partners kept changing in the just-concluded series. Fans saw Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan teaming up with KL Rahul but when Rohit Sharma opened the match with the skipper Virat Kohli, it was phenomenal.
Kohli is not a regular opener. The rest of the players who had teamed up with Rahul earlier had this experience, They had either opened for the state, IPL, or national team. But this new combination was fantabulous and fans couldn’t get enough of it. This batting duo has already proved that the combination is a hit with a 96-run partnership and it must be this amazing number that encouraged Virat to say that he would like to continue as an opening batsman.
The captain feels that the team has a very solid middle-order now. Thus, he would like to team with Rohit Sharma where he would try to get the maximum number of balls. He hopes to carry the same form into the World Cup.
Kohli must have thought this through. Kohli has the most runs in T20I which is 3,159 and Sharma is standing at the second position with 2,864. Won’t it be a nightmare for a bowler! Kohli has strategized to hone his skills in the IPL as the skipper of Royal Challengers Bangalore. The question if he doesn’t perform as expected would he consider not opening the match in the World Cup.
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are the pillars of team India. Fans and teammates expect either one of them to stay till the end. Kohli also is dependent on this theory. He believes that if they both take on the field at the same time, one of them would surely cause some serious damage to the opponents and that would boost the confidence of the team.
The skipper also understands that it is too early to predict anything as it’s still a long time for the World Cup and the batting duo is only one match old. This partnership materialized because the team wanted to play an extra bowler. KL Rahul had to be left behind but the captain clarified that it is not going to be a regular practice and Rahul is going to be a part of the team.
Virat also told the secret formula to an outstanding team. He said, “The combination, getting the right players in, somebody who is in good form, giving him opportunity-those are the things that really matter.”
Many things will be clearer closer to the World Cup and the Sharma-Kohli partnership is one of them. But one clear aspect is the drop of a few Indi-England series bowlers. Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja might make a comeback in the team and if these two bowlers return, someone will have to be dropped.
Air is also thick with the rumors of Bhuvneshwar Kumar making a comeback. He had been stay put due to his injuries and missed great matches. His last match was T20I in December. Though he had been away from the field for a long time, he finished the game with the best economy rate.
The decider match of Saturday showed his bowling skills in full glory. He sent Jos Buttler back to the pavilion when the team needed this the most. Buttler was settling in and the target of 225 wasn’t looking safe and then came the quick Bhuvi attack which sent Buttler flying and he was caught on the long-off boundary.
Bhuvi had been awarded the man-of-the-Match where the batsmen had scored almost 400 runs in 40 overs. His final figures were 4-0-15-2. Looking at this data skipper Kohli cannot leave Kuma back. He said that Bhuvneshwar Kumar would be gifted with more responsibility and crucial overs. He had already taken care of the beginning and the end overs which according to the captain was not easy because of the dew. But if he could handle that, he is ready to handle more.
Indian team and former Indian players have been gaga about Suryakumar Yadav. The skipper has addressed him as an “X factor” player not once but several times. Thus, it is safe to say that one player who is surely going to make it into the playing XI of the World Cup is Suryakumar Yadav.
The player had just made his debut in the second T20I match against England wherein he did not get any chance to showcase his skills but once he was given the bat, he showed that he deserved the debut.
Ishan Kishan is also in line and Virat Kohli says that he “is a talented guy”. He is an aware player now and Kohli also feels that being the captain of the Jharkhand limited-overs team has helped him.