T20 World Cup 2nd warm-up match: India beat Australia by 9 wickets
T20 World Cup: Rohit, Suryakumar find form as India hammer Australia in warm-up match
T20 World Cup 2021: India came up with an all-round effort, ticking the right boxes to beat Australia by 8 wickets and with 12 balls to spare in their final warm-up match. Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s improved form is an encouraging sign for India.
India hammered Australia by 8 wickets in their 2nd warm-up match
Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar showcased encouraging form with the bat
Virat Kohli bowled 2 overs as India are searching for 6th bowling option
India ticked most of the boxes that they would have wanted to in the warm-up games at the T20 World Cup as the former champions hammered Australia by 9 wickets at the ICC Academy in Dubai on Wednesday. India came up with a dominant effort against Australia, who struggled to get going on a sluggish pitch after opting to bat.
Chasing a below-par total of 153, India put on a show with the bat as their top 4 chipped in. India completed the chase as early as the 18th over, losing only one wicket in the process.
India were led by Rohit Sharma despite Virat Kohli being part of the playing group on Wednesday. Interestingly, the skipper bowled 2 overs, slotting in as the 6th bowler after Rohit hinted at the toss that one of him, Kohli or Suryakumar Yadav may chip in with a couple of overs if Hardik Pandya is not able to bowl.
Rohit hinted that Hardik will start bowling in the nets in the near future but stressed that the all-rounder returning to action with the ball will take a bit of time. That seems to be India’s only concern as Hardik has not looked in great touch with the bat too.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar made a strong comeback with the ball as the senior pacer, who leaked 54 in 4 overs against England on Monday, picked up Steve Smith’s wicket and gave away just 27 runs. Bhuvneshwar showcased his class at the death as he bowled 4 dot balls in the final over wherein he got the wicket of a well-set Smith.
India returned to their finger spinners, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to bowl in the powerplay and they did a fine job. Ashwin struck twice in his first over, removing David Warner (1) and Mitchell Marsh in successive deliveries. Jadeja got captain Aaron Finch trapped LBW.
Australia were reeling at 11/3 in the powerplay but Glenn Maxwell (37) and Smith helped them steady their innings. Maxwell was dismissed by Rahul Chahar who bowled better than Monday but Marcus Stonis came up with a counter-attacking 41 to provide the much-needed impetus to the Australian innings.
Interestingly, India used Varun Chakravarthy at the death and the mystery spinner was not able to keep the runs down. Shardul Thakur was also on the expensive side as he gave away 30 runs in 3 overs.
Rohit Sharma hits peak form
Chasing a par total of 153, India went back to their preferred opening pair of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. Notably, Ishan Kishan kept wickets for the team in the absence of Rishabh Pant but he did not bat at the top of the order after having smashed a superb 70 against England in India’s successful chase of 189 on Monday.
Rohit and Rahul did not disappoint as they took time to assess the pitch. The duo put on 68 runs for the opening wicket in just 9.2 overs.
There was no stopping India despite Rahul’s exit for 39 as Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav kept going after the Australian bowlers without facing any kind of pressure.
Rohit hit 3 sixes and 5 boundaries for his 41-ball 60 before he retired. Hardik hit the winning runs with a six that he was able to connect, bringing cheer to the dressing room.
Despite Ishan Kishan’s form, India’s batting order looks sorted for their tournament opener against Pakistan but the team management needs to sit out and take some bold calls before finalizing their bowling unit.
India take on Pakistan on Sunday in Dubai in their Super 12 match.