Hyderabad: India, who leveled the series with a win in the previous match, will be eyeing the form of two of their key bowlers Harshal Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal when they play the third and deciding T20 International against Australia here on Sunday. India leveled the series with a six-wicket win in the second match in Nagpur but the form of their bowlers, especially Harshal and Chahal, is a matter of concern.
The Indian team would like to see both of them return to form before the T20 World Cup. Jasprit Bumrah’s return is good news for India but senior pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s poor form is a matter of concern. Bhuvneshwar could not even walk in the first match of the Asia Cup and then against Australia. He was ruled out of the second match as captain Rohit Sharma wanted to go into the match with only four bowlers in the match which was reduced to eight overs due to wet ground.
Death overs specialist Harshal has made a comeback after recovering from injury but he did not look confident. He will have to play a couple of more matches to regain his momentum. Known for his varied bowling, the fast bowler has conceded 81 runs in six overs in the current series and has proved to be the most expensive bowler. Harshal is finding it difficult to get the length and has not got a single wicket so far.
India are dependent on spinners in the middle overs and while Axar Patel’s good performance is good news for them, Chahal’s poor form is a matter of concern. The leg-spinner had conceded a lot of runs in the Asia Cup and that hasn’t changed against Australia either. Rohit, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, who are in the Indian top order in batting, need to show consistency in their performance. Suryakumar Yadav has also not been able to perform as expected in the last few matches but the good thing is that Hardik Pandya is consistently showing good performance.
Another weakness of India’s batsmen is leg spin. His struggle against the leg-spinners continues and Adam Zampa is also taking advantage of his weakness. Dinesh Karthik, who is playing the role of finisher in the Indian team, is likely to get a chance even further. Rohit would also like to retain Axar, who replaced the injured Ravindra Jadeja, in the team. Like India, Australia is also worried about the performance of its bowlers.
In the first match, he won on the strength of the batsmen, while in the second match also captain Aaron Finch and Matthew Wade took him to a good score but the bowlers failed to defend him. Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Daniel Sams conceded 11 runs per over in the absence of injured Nathan Ellis. All-rounder Cameron Green has also proved costly. Wet’s excellent form ahead of the World Cup is a positive for Australia but the team management will be expecting an even bigger innings from all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who has scored just one run in two matches.
The teams are as follows:
India: Rohit Sharma (capt), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.
The match will start at 7 pm Indian time. (agency)