Team India are off to a terrific start in their ICC T20I World Cup campaign after winning back-to-back practice games against top teams. The “Men in Blue” won their first practice game against England which was played on October 18th, 2021. England handed a massive total of 189 runs for India to chase. The Indians, however, hunted the total with 6 balls in hand. India’s next victim was the Australians, whom they played on 20th October. The Baggy Greens were clearly the second-best side in the game, as they succumbed to a total of 152 runs. The Indians chased the total with 8 wickets remaining.
3 Things To Learn From India’s Practice Games
1) KL Rahul Should Open The Games
It has become pretty clear by now that KL Rahul is an ideal candidate to open the innings alongside Rohit Sharma. Virat Kohli was motivated to promote himself in the opening position in the ICC T20I World Cup but the recent dip in his form has paved the way clear for Rahul. Adding to that, Rahul has been on tremendous form this year, in the IPL as well as in the practice games. KL Rahul scored 51 and 39 during India’s practice sessions against England and Australia, respectively.
2) Bhuvneshwar Kumar Is Out Of Form
Ace Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is certainly finding it difficult to get a hold of his form. The 31-year-old was seen struggling throughout the second phase of the VIVO IPL 2021 as he continued with his average performance in the practice games as well. Bhuvi leaked 54 runs in 4 overs during India’s first practice game against England.
He failed to clinch a single wicket against the English side. Nevertheless, the right-arm pacer made a decent comeback against the Aussies. Bhuvneshwar Kumar went for 27 runs in 4 overs and bagged a crucial wicket of Steve Smith. The Indians will require their most reliable bowler to find his mojo back before the serious part of the tournament commences.
3) Hardik Pandya Can Be Replaced
Hardik Pandya was tipped to be one of the best all-rounders in the world, the next Kapil Dev they said. However, for the past couple of years, Pandya has failed to fulfill his all-rounder duties due to injuries. Pandya is set to play as a pure batsman in the tournament as his injuries have restricted him from taking up the bowling duties. Hardik Pandya will be used as a finisher and will be expected to take the team home during clutch moments.
However, the 28-year-old is not in the best of his form. Pandya scored 12 runs off 10 balls against England and 14 runs off 8 balls against Australia. Nevertheless, the Mumbai Indian star was not out in both innings. Hardik Pandya will have to be on his 5th gear or he can easily be replaced by the likes of R Ashwin or Shardul Thakur, the players who can fill the all-rounder position in the starting XI.