India didn’t expect to trail 0-2 in their five-game T20 international series with South Africa, but that’s where they are now.
While it would be unfair to say they’ve made a total hash of the two games played so far, some things definitely need a second look, including the home team’s batting approach. Granted, you must have runs on the board to create a challenge for the opposition, but surely there must be room for improvisation depending on the wickets and locations available. The match at Cuttack’s Barabati Stadium on Sunday was an example of this.
The immediate differences between Barabati and the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi are quite obvious. While Kotla’s pitch has always been a sleeping beauty, combined with very small boundaries, Cuttack often throws up challenges for hitters, with a sort of uneven bounce, some movement in the air, thanks to the relative humidity , as well as much longer. borders.
Needless to say, the stick cannot be a “one size fits all” formula. Things have to change depending on the situation. Barabati needed a hitter so he could hold one end while the others looked for faster runs. Unfortunately, this Indian XI does not have this grafter, and it has been to his detriment.
As always, it’s not fair to judge teams by just two games, but a small change in approach was definitely on the cards, even during the game, once the vagaries of the track were observed.
The only hitter on the team who could have been given the role of grafter was Shreyas Iyer. For one thing, he’s one of the strongest technically in this XI, and if he wants, he can apply his mind to the job.
But Team India’s mantra seems to be simple: hit everything that moves. Iyer too is drawn to it and the results were there for all to see.
Another thing missing from the Indian batting philosophy is a little study of opposition bowling. A classic example is the sacking of Rishabh Pant on Sunday.
Keshav Maharaj knew Pant would charge him with the first ball and he smartly sent one past the southpaw’s stump. Pant, as is often his wont, went for the extravagant slash and was held up by the sweeper on the offside fence.
The problem here is twofold. For one thing, Pant’s tendency to go for those wild hoicks is now notorious and each side will try to induce one. The second problem is that while the South Africans knew this would happen, Pant himself, or India’s hitting think tank, weren’t equally aware of this possible pitfall and walked right into it.
What the Indian Premier League has done is that batters and bowlers have become familiar with each other’s tendencies. But there are a few who weren’t there in the IPL and a second look at Maharaj, who is a deceptively smart bowler, was surely deserved.
Wayne Parnell is a savvy bowler who needs to be vetted before any adventure. After all, it’s been a while since the left arm has seen international action and several of the Indian batters would do well to take a look before going into attack mode. But that hasn’t been the case in either game so far.
Additionally, those who have played before have found ways to outrun hitters. Anrich Nortje had a plan for Ishan Kishan, and it worked.
While bowling, India were right in the game until Henirich Klaasen got in on the act with his record effort. Klaasen had also shown his fondness for the Indian spin earlier, but that was not a lesson learned.
When a team is only defending 148 points, the bowlers are 19+ points, or 12.3 or 10.3 basically means the game is out of your reach. This can still be attributed to a good batter or two for the opposition, but the same didn’t quite apply when the Indians were at bat, as adaptation to the conditions didn’t quite happen. .
In the current cricket schedule, matches are dense and fast-paced and transition and adjustment times are correspondingly shorter. So, now with a situation where India need to win all three games to retain the series, a little thought about the striking processes won’t be a bad thing.
It never hurts to get a second look.
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