After a thoroughly convincing leg against South Africa, the Indian team prepares for the T20I series against the visiting Bangladeshi squad. The neighbors have had to deal with various issues in their cricketing landscape with a players’ strike in the last ten days and then the subsequent banning of Shakib al Hasan from international cricket for a year in order of his failure to report an approach from bookies on three occasions. Understandably, they wouldn’t come here with the best of times behind them and hence the Rohit Sharma-led Indian T20I setup could hope to capitalize on the same soon too.
Key Players for India:
There were plenty of discussions ahead of India’s journey after the World Cup regarding how Rohit Sharma could take over the mantle from Virat Kohli of the T20I captaincy considering his immense prowess in that aspect of the game with the success that he has had with Mumbai Indians. Here, Rohit would get a chance to not only showcase his captaincy skills on the international level but also lead the batting order entirely on his shoulders with the absence of Kohli from the side. Both, his runs, and his on and off field management of players would be tremendously important for the players considering they have some new ones drafted in the squad for this particular series.
Rohit Sharma will be leading the Indian team in the T20Is. Image: BCCI
Rishabh Pant has been under immense scrutiny for his rather indifferent performances in the limited-overs setup and hence it needs to be seen how he conducts himself with the bat and gloves on the field in this series against a relatively weaker opponent. This is an opportunity for the southpaw to get some runs and a lot of confidence under his belt and considering that the first game would be at his home ground, it is an even better chance for him to straightaway cause some havoc in the Bangladeshi setup with his incredible skills with the willow, specifically in the shortest format of this sport.
Finally, after the semi-final defeat against the Kiwis, the Indian side has drafted in Yuzvendra Chahal for his services in the white-ball setup. The leg-spinner spent time playing matches in the domestic circuit and in the India ‘A’ setup and has been brought in this T20I series. Chahal’s performances and records speak for themselves, but most importantly he brings in the dimension of possessing a leg-spinner, which is any day an excellent added advantage for any team that is looking to succeed in the limited-overs cricket in the current day and age. Most definitely, Chahal will get an opportunity in all three matches to refurbish his position in the squad for the times to come.
Key Factors That Will Decide the Game for India:
A lot depends on India's pace bowling attack.
1: How does the pace bowling unit shape up?
In the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, the Indian pacers have their task cut up with the likes of Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed and Shardul Thakur being the only frontline fast bowlers in the setup. Whilst Chahar has been constantly impressive with his performances, the same cannot be said about Khaleel and Shardul as they have never really had a long rope as such to prove their mettle in this format of the game either. It would be interesting to see how they perform in the death overs, an area where Bangladesh might look for their captain Mahmadullah to rack up a sizable number of runs. Otherwise too, the situation presents an exciting challenge to the team as of now.
2: The newbies and their displays:
Sanju Samson has been brought in the squad after his excellent performances in the domestic circuit in the past few years. Samson has been making some noises consistently in the past few months and coupled with Rishabh Pant’s inability to lock up his spot, Samson could be considered as a backup option or as someone who can play as a specialist middle-order batsman as well in the team. Shivam Dube is yet another player who has been roped in in the absence of Hardik Pandya. Dube has performed exceptionally well for India A and Mumbai in the Vijay Hazare Trophy too, and hence his role would be vital to the team’s chances in the game as well.
The top-order will need to click right away. Image: BCCI
3: The top-order
KL Rahul is arguably India’s best batsman in this format of the game, but India’s continued resistance with their top-three formula means that he hasn’t really gotten an opportunity to covert his excellent IPL performances in the T20I circuit on a consistent basis. Regardless of that, he already has two centuries in international T20 matches and is someone this Indian team should definitely look to play at least in this version of the game. However, Shikhar Dhawan hasn’t fared drastically badly either and hence Kohli’s rest could mean that KL could receive a chance to play at number three in the first game and the series as well. If he manages to deliver some punching performances there, then it could be the answer to India’s rather slow starts in T20Is in recent times.
Playing XI and other details:
Rohit Sharma(c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal
Venue and timings:
3rd November 2019
Arun Jaitley Stadium, New Delhi
The match will be broadcasted across Star’s multiple channels and will also be streamed live at Hotstar.