With injuries to some key players, India are already a depleted side heading into the ongoing T20 World Cup Down the Under. The Men in Blue will require their batters to find an extra gear to compensate for their bowling limitations if they are to lift the coveted T20 World Cup trophy for a second time.
India, who won the first edition of the tournament in 2007, lost fast bowling spearhead Jasprit Bumrah to a back injury and utility all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja to a knee problem in the lead-up to the event.
Bumrah’s absence is a big blow to India. His loss will not only rob India of his new ball skills but the team will also miss his accurate yorkers and variations especially in the death overs.
Jadeja will also be missed for his accurate bowling in the middle overs and hard-hitting batting lower down the order. He is also a livewire in the field and his electric fielding will leave a gaping hole in the side.
As per skipper Rohit Sharma, injuries are part and parcel of the sport and there is nothing much that can be done about it. Team India has no way but to focus on the bench strength.
Experienced pacer Mohammed Shami was drafted in for Bumrah. However, Shami’s effectiveness is doubtful as he has not played any international cricket since July. Moreover, Axar Patel will have to fill in the big shoes of Jadeja.
Team India players have to battle with immense pressure as they will start their campaign by taking on arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday.
Rohit, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli make up the top three of India’s batting line-up. But it will be the middle order comprising of Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya and either Rishabh Pant or Dinesh Karthik that will hold the key to Team India’s title hopes.
Surya is currently second in the batters list of ICC T20 rankings. The right-hander has mesmerized cricket buffs across the globe for his 360 degree approach of shot-making ability. Pandya’s big-hitting ability is well documented in white-ball cricket.
Though, Karthik has been a revelation with his aggressive batting and finishing capability, the lack of left-handers in India’s batting line-up could make a case for Pant’s inclusion, at least in some games, at number six.
The onus is on India’s middle order to make up for slow starts and add those extra runs to provide a bit more of a cushion to their struggling bowlers.