Team India will take on T20 World Champions Australia in the first of three T20I matches in Mohali on Tuesday (September 20). With Ravindra Jadeja ruled out till the T20 World Cup 2022, Rohit Sharma’s side need a left-handed batter in the top order and only option for them currently is Rishabh Pant.
Vice-captain KL Rahul spoke to the media on Monday (September 19) on the eve of the clash and revealed who will the team management choose between Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik as the finisher.
On the Dinesh Karthik versus Rishabh Pant debate, Rahul said: “It depends what kind of combination we are going with on that day. It depends on surface and what teams we play against, these are not easy decisions to take. Both of them are high quality players and both have different roles.”
India will be looking to finalise their combinations for the T20 World Cup in the six home games against Australia and South Africa. Rahul said the team is yet to play to its full potential. “Skill wise our performance was only 80-85 percent. We are still not very good in terms of batting or excellent in bowling or fielding. There are a few things we need to fix. You can only win big events if all these are done well and the team comes together to win championship,” Rahul said in the pre-match press conference.
At last year’s T20 World Cup and this year’s Asia Cup, the mistakes committed were different. “What happened in Asia Cup and 2021 World Cup (both early exit), we made (committed) different mistakes in those two events. We are very clear about what went wrong and we are trying to learn from it,” he said.
Numbers can be deceptive and not always tell the whole story, feels Indian vice-captain KL Rahul, whose endeavour ahead of the T20 World Cup is to improve his strike-rate in the powerplay overs.
Rahul has copped a fair bit of criticism of late for his strike rate and the stylish batter believes that it is difficult to maintain the same tempo throughout an innings. “It is something that every player works towards (strike-rate). No one is perfect. Everyone is working towards something,” said Rahul, who batted at a strike-rate of 122.22 during the Asia Cup in UAE.
However, Rahul’s career T20I strike-rate is 140 plus across 61 games but it is primarily because he makes it up during the back-end of an innings. “Strike-rates are taken on an overall basis,” he said and the gave his rationale behind the argument.
“You never see that a batter has played at a certain strike-rate (throughout). Whether it was important for him to play at a strike-rate of 200 or whether the team could have still won with the batter playing at 100 or 120, these things are not always analysed. So when you look at (overall), it looks slow,” Rahul said.
India’s Predicted 11 vs Australia in 1st T20:
Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rishabh Pant, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel
(with PTI inputs)