India has marched in the T20I series with a win after beating Australia by 11 runs in what can be called as the controversial first T20I. The opening match has sparked the debate on concussion substitute rule after Ravindra Jadeja, who smashed unbeaten 44 runs off 23 balls to propel India to 161, was replaced with Yuzvendra Chahal after being hit on the helmet in the last over of India’s innings. The talk has been around whether Chahal was the like for like replacement for the spin-bowling allrounder, as the concussion substitute rule says.
However, Ravindra Jadeja has been ruled out of the remaining of the T20I series while Shardul Thakur has been called as his replacement in the squad. The ouster of the allrounder is a huge setback for India because he has been in terrific form with both bat and ball.
On Sunday (December 6), India will play the second T20I, which will be a do or die match for Australia, in Sydney where the visitors had lost back to back two ODIs.
Here, let’s take a look at how India’s playing XI can shape in:
The southpaw was clean bowled by Mitchell Starc in the opening match after facing six balls. He scored only one run although his opening partner KL Rahul took the innings forward.
Shikhar Dhawan will have to build a good opening partnership considering Jadeja is not, in the end, to play the heroic innings again.
KL Rahul played another classic knock, but Moises Henriques trapped him at the crucial juncture of the match. The right-hand batsman scored 51 runs off 40 balls at the strike rate of 127.50. He also struck five four and one six. The vice-captain will have to play a similar knock in Sydney to take the game home.
Virat Kohli looked in good form but gave a dolly to Mitchell Swepson in his bowling. He scored only nine runs off nine balls leaving the team struggling. If Jadeja hadn’t played a fiery knock in the end, India would have been on the losing side. As the all-rounder is now not with the team, he will have to play a big knock to put Australians under pressure.
The right-hand batsman was benched in the first T20I while Manish Pandey was given the opportunity to bat, but the latter lost his wicket quickly. Thus, Iyer will be included in the second game’s set up to put a strong batting line up.
Sanju Samson was for short in the crease but got the better of Australian bowlers. He smacked one four and one six to score 23 runs off 15 balls. Had he stayed longer in the field, India might have given a huge target. The wicketkeeper-batsman will eye to set himself up a bit longer.
Hardik Pandya could not replicate his ODI innings in the first T20I. Adam Zampa halted him to 16 runs before Pandya hit him for a six. The attacking batsman needs to be best in the death overs to push the score of India to above par.
Washington Sundar bowled beautifully in Canberra. He leaked only 16 runs and was hit only for one boundary in his four overs quota. He is likely to maintain his place in the XI considering his outstanding form. However, his batting was not helpful as he scored only seven runs off five balls.
Shardul Thakur has been swooped in as the replacement of Ravindra Jadeja. The fast bowler had an impressive outing in the last ODI, picking three wickets and conceding 51 runs in 10 overs. He has proven that he has got the knack of picking wickets at crucial points.
Apart from bowling, his power-hitting batting can also be a great asset to the team.
Ravindra Jadeja’s head injury turned out to a blessing in disguise with India unleashing Yuzvendra Chahal on the Australian side. He got the big wickets of Aaron Finch and Steve Smith while also notched Matthew Wade’s wicket. The leg-spinner will be retained in the playing XI.
T Natarajan played the maiden T20I and dazzled everyone with his perfect yorker and accurate bowling. He got crucial wickets of D’Arcy Short and Glenn Maxwell apart from Mitchell Starc while conceded 30 runs in his four overs. The 29-year-old will maintain his spot in the XI and is likely to play full series.
Jasprit Bumrah was rested in the first T20I match while Mohammed Shami played in the opening match. But for the penultimate match, Bumrah will be included to seal the deal for India after winning