Key Takeaways From India's First Warmup Match Against England
India's T20 World Cup campaign started off with a win against England in the first warmup match on Monday in Dubai. The tournament hosts defeated previous editions' runners up by seven wickets, chasing 189 runs with an over to spare.
The scoreline suggests a dominating India performance, especially by batters, but was it one? Let's take a look at the key takeaways from the match:
1) Rohit-Rahul To Open?
During the build-up of the tournament, Virat Kohli had said he will be opening in the T20 World Cup. However, after the 2nd leg of IPL 2021, things have changed as Kohli admits, "things were different before IPL started and now KL Rahul is playing the way he is, so it's very hard to look past him at top of the order."
This very much confirms KL as the opener and if there was even a minute doubt about it, then Rahul himself made it clear with his performance. The opener smashed a 23-ball-51 and gave a terrific start to the run chase as he added 82 runs in 8.2 overs with Ishan Kishan.
2) Ishan Kishan Is Too Good To Be Ignored
The young wicketkeeper batter had an off IPL 2021 and things were looking down and out for Ishan Kishan ahead of the T20 World Cup. However, the 23-year-old has made a strong comeback, first with his blazing knock of 84 in 34 balls in the last match of Mumbai Indians and now with another 70 off 46, while opening for India in the warmup match.
Although Kishan was named as a backup opener, his last two knocks are exactly the attacking approach India has been missing in the middle overs and he could very well be given a spot in the middle order.
3) Will Suryakumar Yadav Regain His Consistency?
Before the final game of Mumbai Indians against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Suryakumar had only managed 63 runs in six games. In the last game, he smashed 82 in 40 balls. However, in the warmup match, Yadav was sent in to bat when India needed 40 runs in under five overs.
It was a perfect scenario for Surya to continue with where he left in IPL and also test him as a potential finisher. Surya, however, got out scoring eight off nine balls.
If Suryakumar doesn't bat up the order and spend time in the middle, there is a good chance Ishan Kishan might play ahead of Yadav against Pakistan on 24th October.
4) Bhuvneshwar Kumar's struggle continues
Although the pitch was a belter for the batters, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar's struggle to control the line and length was a concerning thing to watch.
Kumar was hammered for 54 runs in his four overs. Bhuvneshwar was India's death over specialist but his returns in that phase aren't encouraging lately. In IPL 2021, Bhuvi went for more than 10 an over in the death overs and picked only two wickets - a whopping average of 68.
In the warmup match, Bhuvneshwar went for 33 runs in the last two overs - 21 in the final over where Moeen Ali smashed 4, 6, 6 in the last three deliveries.
5) Rahul Chahar or R Ashwin?
India bowled two spinners last night, Rahul Chahar and R Ashwin, and both had contrasting outings. While Chahar picked a wicket and Ashwin didn't, but the leg-spinner conceded 43 runs in his four overs. Ashwin, who was returning in the shorter format for India after four years, finished with four overs for 23 runs.
The stark difference between the two spinners was the lengths they bowled. While Chahar kept the attacking lengths on, Ashwin bowled defensively. If that was asked to them, then it is another thing, if not, then it is a concerning thing for the management.
Also Read: T20 World Cup 2021
India will now be up against Australia in the 2nd warmup match on 20th October where Rohit Sharma, Varun Chakravarthy, Ravindra Jadeja, and Shardul Thakur will be seen taking the field.
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