IND vs AUS: 3 Biggest Positives From India’s Batting Performance In The First T20I
India’s defeat to Australia - following it up from those against Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2022 - have further raised questions on the effectiveness of the bowling attack when defending totals on flatter surfaces.
Australia gunned down 209 with 4 balls to spare courtesy of blistering knocks from Cameron Green (61 off 30) and Matthew Wade (45 off 21).
The positive takeaway for the hosts was their batting - putting up 208 while batting first against a strong Australian bowling attack was commendable, further highlighting that Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid have done well in regards to the batsmen shedding their conservative approach that we were used to under the previous management.
Here are India’s 3 biggest positives for their batting performance in the first T20I against Australia:
KL Rahul showing intent
The severe criticism toward KL Rahul in recent years has been him not playing with intent and instead playing conservatively at the start of the innings. This had cost his IPL franchises - now LSG and PBKS earlier - matches, and has frustrated fans because we know what Rahul is capable of but chooses not to play aggressively in the powerplay.
In the Asia Cup, KLR scored 132 runs at a strike rate of 122, and his strike rate in the tournament dropped to 113 in the powerplay.
Before the Australia series, Rahul had talked about making changes in his batting - that was clearly visible in Mohali when after playing just 4 balls, he stepped across the line and pulled Hazlewood for a six, and hit a couple of more boundaries in the powerplay, which he ended at 22 (14). He played attacking shots regularly and finished his innings with a strike rate of 157.
Suryakumar Yadav continues with fast starts
He’s just too good, isn’t he? It still amazes everyone that Suryakumar Yadav didn’t make his India debut until the age of 30, and he gives a reminder of that harsh fact almost every couple of innings. After 27 T20I innings, SKY has an average of 37 and strike rate of 173. No batsman in the world has scored more than Suryakumar’s 857 runs at a higher strike rate than his.
One of his typical traits of T20 batting is the fast starts he makes. When new to the crease, irrespective of the bowler, situation, conditions, Suryakumar looks for boundaries; the gaps which will fetch him and his side freshness after a fall of a wicket.
Mohali, vs Australia, was no different. He came in to bat at the last ball of the 5th over after Kohli’s dismissal. On this third ball, SKY masterfully drove Pat Cummins for a four; and two balls later brought out his trademark pickup shot for six on the leg side to get going. SKY ended with 46 off 25, strike rate of 184.
Hardik Pandya’s dream form
India’s lower-order looks short of experience and adaptability in the form of Axar Patel and Dinesh Karthik, both of whom are likely starters in the best team given what they bring to the table, but we also know that both have limitations. For that, it is imperative that Hardik Pandya continue his dream form throughout the T20 World Cup.
Pandya displayed a stunning exhibition of pacing his innings and ball-hitting. He came into bat in the 12th over after the fall of the third wicket. With no fuss, Pandya smoked Green for a six on the 4th ball he faced, but then saw SKY, Axar and DK get out. At the 16-over mark, India were 148/5 and Pandya 23 (14).
Australia could have gained an upper hand in the death overs, but Pandya not only kept his wicket but also walloped quick runs. 2 fours to Hazlewood, a six and a four to Cummins. Pandya’s smarts came to bore when he didn’t take any risk in the 19th over of Ellis, knowing that Green will bowl the last over, and then he made full use of Green’s inexperience, thumping the youngster for three sixes in the last three balls to finish with 71* off 30 balls.