Advertisement
Sunday, Oct 24, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

Don’t Read Too Much Into India’s T20 Series Loss To Australia

The serious preparation for the 2019 World Cup will be in upcoming ODI series, starting March 2

Don’t Read Too Much Into India’s T20 Series Loss To Australia
Don’t Read Too Much Into India’s T20 Series Loss To Australia
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+05:30

India’s T20 International series loss to Australia should not be taken to heart. Although a defeat always hurts, this one should not, simply because India’s focus -- as is of all other competing teams -- is on the upcoming 50-over World Cup.

 Since T20 is quite different from the 50-over format (there is a 30-over difference between the two formats)  the requirements for the two are different, and therefore different types of specialists are required for the two formats. So, India can afford to forget this 2-0 defeat and look ahead to preparations for the World Cup, the real test, during the upcoming five-match One-day International series against Australia at home.

Now, with the T20s done and dusted, Virat Kohli’s boys can fully focus on the World Cup, to be played from May-July in England. Besides the five One-day Internationals against Australia, beginning on March 2 in Hyderabad, before the World Cup, India will have two warm-up games just before the big one in England.

However, the two-match T20 series may have helped the national selectors finalise one or two last spots for the World Cup squad that will be announced soon. Most of the players pick themselves automatically. It’s probably only one or two slots that need to be decided.

MSK Prasad, chairman of the Selection Committee, has already said that his panel has shortlisted “18 players” who will be “rotated” in the ODI series against Australia. This series will give some crucial match practice to both teams, while the Indian selectors, along with the team management, will look to finalise one or two spots that are apparently left to be finalised. One spot that is yet to be sealed is that of fearless big-hitting wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant. MS Dhoni will obviously be the first-choice wicket-keeper, and Pant being a left-hander will be an “advantage” for the team. He could be played as a specialist batsman in the XI, Prasad has hinted. Pant’s possible competitor could be right-handed Dinesh Karthik, another wicket-keeper who can field in the outfield.

While Pant is inexperienced – he has played just three ODIs and 15 T20s – Karthik has loads of experience and is a good fielder as well. The other batsman who could be in the fray is KL Rahul, who has been in the news for his off-field utterances and for lack of runs on it. He has been provisionally allowed to play, pending a hearing by the new BCCI Ombudsman, for his comments on a TV show, along with Hardik Pandya.

Pandya missed the T20 matches against Australia due to an injury. It remains to be seen how serious the injury is as he will be a key element in the Indian XI at the World Cup. Even if he is close to regaining full fitness, my guess is that selectors would still opt for him. If a half-fit Pandya unfortunately breaks down midway through the World Cup there is a provision in the World Cup to change players due to injuries. By the way, don’t completely rule out Vijay Shankar, a batsman who can bowl.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

'Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani': Shah Rukh Khan As The Symbol Of Indianness

'Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani': Shah Rukh Khan As The Symbol Of Indianness

SRK’s persona evokes the kind of Indianness that denies categorisation into singular, exclusive identities. And thrives on making others feel welcome.

Army Jawan, Two Cops Wounded In Heavy Exchange Of Fire In Valley

Army Jawan, Two Cops Wounded In Heavy Exchange Of Fire In Valley

Police detenue to identify hideouts in Poonch fail to extract arrested Pak militant used as guide, after coming under heavy fire from militants

T20 World Cup: India Have Edge Over Pakistan - Stats Preview

T20 World Cup: India Have Edge Over Pakistan - Stats Preview

So far India have won all their five matches against Pakistan in T20 World Cups since 2007 - all of them under the leadership of Dhoni.

Global Desi: Raj Or Rahul, SRK Is Equally At Home In New York Or Patiala

Global Desi: Raj Or Rahul, SRK Is Equally At Home In New York Or Patiala

Marking the transition between old and new India, SRK’s characters and his stardom represent Bollywood as simultaneously Indian and global.

Advertisement