Did India take their opening match of the Asia Cup, towards Hong Kong, frivolously? No. Did they use the chance of enjoying towards an unestablished crew as an opportunity to strive just a few issues? Sure. Have been they proper in doing so? Completely.The reside telecast of the match will begin at 5:00PM on September 19 (Wednesday). The match will be seen reside on the Star Sports activities community and reside streaming will probably be accessible on www.hotstar.com. You can even observe our reside weblog for ball-by-ball updates and evaluation on cricketnext.com.
With the World Cup roughly 9 months away, and India enjoying 20-odd 50-over matches within the meantime, any probability to nail down their finest gamers within the prime order and decrease middle-order can’t be wasted.
Virat Kohli will slot again into this line-up and might bat wherever he needs within the prime order, and is all however assured to attain runs, however many questions stay unanswered about India’s medium-term batting prospects. Rohit Sharma, who’s warming Kohli’s throne for the second, was candid in his evaluation earlier than the match towards Hong Kong.
Whereas conceding that the No. 3, No. four and No. 6 spots have been up for grabs, Rohit disagreed when it was steered that the highest order was not gelling effectively. Relatively, he stated, it was an opportunity for somebody to say a spot with one good innings. “Yeah it’s not settled, everyone knows about it as a result of there’s been plenty of guys who’ve performed at that place. Going ahead we wish all the pieces to be settled, however it provides alternative to the fellows to play the cricket they like and seal the spot,” stated Rohit. “I would not say it’s a concern, however in the event you have a look at the longer term, as a captain or participant you need your crew to be settled. No one likes to be dropped and introduced again. We wish everybody to really feel secure and settled, in order that they will play freely.”
Secure, settled, play freely. Rohit checked out all of these issues after Hong Kong invited India to bat, however one shot when he took on the left-arm spinner and went leg-side as an alternative of off ended his innings. Shikhar Dhawan went previous 4500 ODI runs in his 106th ODI, scoring his 14th century, whereas by no means trying overly dominant or masterful. However, oddly sufficient, when Kohli had performed the identical variety of matches, again in 2013, he had the identical variety of centuries. This isn’t to say that Dhawan will match Kohli, however it does warn you in regards to the risks of assessing a batsman on statistics alone.
Let’s assume Dhawan is settled, and there’s no want for a debate on his opening associate, Rohit. Who bats at three? There isn’t any apparent selection as a result of this has been a musical chairs form of place, and it’s delicate as a result of it additionally impacts who bats subsequent and at No. 6.
Kohli slots in at 4, Mahendra Singh Dhoni at 5, however who between Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Kartik, Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav fills these slots.
Rayudu is a 50-over monster in that he at all times scores. Any probability he will get he grabs. However he doesn’t push the envelope within the method that trendy 50-over cricket calls for. Whereas he averages greater than 50, he scores his runs at a strike fee of solely 76. In years passed by that might have been trigger for celebration, however Twenty20 has created an expectation that each batsman scores at the very least at a run-a-ball. Does the Indian crew want yet another dasher-slasher or can they construct a line-up that has room for one constant heavy-hitter?
Dinesh Karthik at all times appears like the person for the job, particularly when he’s combating his manner again to the Indian crew, however he has been used as a floater in numerous positions for therefore lengthy that it’s laborious to inform if he even is aware of what kind of sport he ought to play. Kedar Jadhav has confirmed he will be an explosive finisher in Twenty20 cricket, however is that the one function he can play? Manish Pandey seems to have each shot within the sport after which just a few, however he frustrates by not capitalising when given the possibility. After which there’s KL Rahul, who went from long-form participant to T20 dasher, and it’s important to surprise the place he suits into this jigsaw puzzle.
If it looks as if India are spoilt for decisions, this isn’t fairly true. There may be expertise aplenty however not considered one of these gamers is aware of which spot he’s auditioning for and subsequently how he ought to play.
And what awaits them? Solely Pakistan in a crunch match.
Hong Kong didn’t merely scare India in India’s 26-run win, they supplied Rohit’s crew with the form of actuality test that requires a protracted, laborious look within the mirror and far more after.
When India performs Pakistan there will probably be no room for error, and even much less house to say that cricket was the winner.
First Revealed: September 19, 2018, 11:29 AM IST