ICC T20 World Cup: Key takeaways from India's warm-up wins
The Indian cricket team enjoyed two convincing wins in the warm-up matches against England and Australia respectively ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 Super 12 stage. India, who open their World T20 campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan in the Super 12 Group 2 match, will be confident to start on the right note. Here we decode the key takeaways from India's warm-up matches.
KL Rahul the ideal player to set a platform
KL Rahul enjoyed a terrific Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 campaign and he started on song for Team India in both the games. Rahul got scores of 51 and 39 against England and Australia respectively. He has the license to attack and can make the most out of the powerplay overs. His opening partner Rohit Sharma can then anchor the innings and bat long.
India have to choose between Kishan and Surya
India's six prime batting options are almost secured and another choice could be between Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav. Notably, Kishan came on as an opener against England and played a match-winning explosive knock. Against Australia, Surya too showed his composure after coming to bat at number three. Both players can be used as floaters and India need to pick one wisely.
India's batting a major strength
With the Indian players having a great knowledge of the UAE pitches, the application will be easier in terms of knowing how to approach things. The strength lies in the top-order and there is plenty of character in the middle-order as well. With Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja as finishers, India have what it takes to dominate in key moments of the game.
Sixth bowling option could be a worry
India will go in with four premier bowling options and two all-rounders in the form of Pandya and Jadeja. However, with Pandya not bowling for quite some time now, problems could erupt. Pandya is being backed to bowl and if he manages the same, then India can use more spinners with the former as the third pacer. This factor will be massive.
Ashwin could team up with Jadeja in the spin department
At the moment, India could hand R Ashwin a match against Pakistan, given his exploits against the Aussies. Ashwin played both the warm-up matches and fared well. His experience will be key alongside left-arm spinner Jadeja. However, India do have Varun Chakravarthy and Rahul Chahar as other spin options and Kohli could pick the latter. Whoever comes in, it will be a major call.
Here's India's probable XI to take on Pakistan
India probable XI: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (captain), Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.