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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

India vs South Africa: Opening concerns, mediocre finishes - Areas Virat Kohli and team need to address in SA T20I

The management will have a great chance to try different things as preparations need to begin for the T20 World Cup in Australia.

cricket Updated: Sep 11, 2019 08:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
File image of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan
File image of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan(AP)

Indian head coach Ravi Shastri has identified the T20 World Cup slated to be held in Australia next year to be the next big target for Team India. He also said that he was now looking to include young and new faces in the T20I squad in the immediate future and then give them a long rope. India won the T20I series against West Indies last month, yet, there are a few concerns which need to be addressed.

The management will have a great chance to try different things in the upcoming T20I series against South Africa as preparations need to begin for the T20 World Cup in Australia.

ALSO READ: ‘Why would Rohit get five hundreds’: Ravi Shastri speaks about the alleged Virat Kohli-Rohit Sharma rift

Opening concerns

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have been prolific for India in One Day Internationals, but the same cannot be said about them when it comes to the shortest format. Yes, they have the experience, but at a time when openers attack from ball one, India’s strategy of seeing off the initial few overs seems to be outdated. Here is an opportunity for Shastri and company to try out a new combination and pair Rohit with a more explosive batsman to lay the marker right at the top.

Wicket-takers in the middle overs

In Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India have two of the best bowlers in the shortest format. Both these bowlers will invariably give the side a solid start with the ball and hence, the opposition might be tempted to weather the initial storm. This is where the importance of wicket-takers, especially in the middle overs becomes paramount and hence, the selectors and the management need to identify bowlers to get the job done. It could be the wrist spinners, but then the task is cut out for the captain and coach to identify their match-winners for this specific role.

ALSO READ: MSK Prasad explains why Kuldeep, Chahal have not been picked for SA T20Is

Powerful finish at the end

MS Dhoni is not part of the squad, Rishabh Pant has not yet hit his stride and Hardik Pandya is making a comeback to the side. This is one area where India need to be put all their focus on - the final few overs and the number of runs scored, more often than not tilts the favour of the game. In the recent past, India have struggled to find momentum in the death overs and this could be a huge impediment to their World Cup ambitions.

First Published: Sep 10, 2019 16:21 IST

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