• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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T20 World Cup: Rohit and team look to improve batting against USA

India’s captain Rohit Sharma celebrates with teammate Virat Kohli after Sharma hit six during the game against Pakistan. (Photo: Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

India’s top batsmen will look to perform more freely against an impressive but inexperienced USA team in their T20 World Cup group game on Wednesday.

India, already classified as A1 regardless of points, need one more win to secure their Super Eight spot. They will aim to avoid a repeat of their last match against Pakistan, where they lost their last seven wickets for 28 runs on the two-paced Nassau County pitch.

Against the USA, India might adopt a high-risk approach similar to their strategy against Pakistan but with hopes of better results. For the Indian Americans in the USA team, including Saurabh Netravalkar and Harmeet Singh, playing against India is a significant opportunity. Despite the track leveling the playing field somewhat, the USA, comprising players of diverse nationalities, might still find it challenging to match India’s strength.

The USA team has not gained much media attention despite their Super Over win over Pakistan. However, their performance on Wednesday might change that. Players like Monank Patel, Harmeet, Netravalkar, Jessy Singh, and Noshtush Kenjige have their own Indian backgrounds and will face India’s star players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Rishabh Pant.

Facing top Indian players is a rare opportunity for the USA team, providing invaluable experience. This will be India’s last match in the Nassau County area, and they may prefer to bat first. If India bowls first, there is a high chance that the USA might struggle to reach a three-figure score against Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Ravindra Jadeja.

There are personal stories as well, such as Netravalkar potentially bowling to his former Mumbai teammate Suryakumar Yadav. “It will be an emotional moment to play against India and especially Surya as we go back a long way,” Netravalkar said. Harmeet and Kenjige will face the challenge of containing Rishabh Pant, who is known for his aggressive batting.

Ali Khan’s pace and bounce could prompt Rohit to use his pull shot frequently, while Nitish Kumar might try to be innovative with his shot selection.

India’s main weakness in the first game was Shivam Dube. The Chennai Super Kings’ ‘Impact Player’ has struggled on two-paced tracks. Unlike in the IPL, national captain Rohit Sharma cannot bench Dube and must strategically place him in the field.

Dube is effective against spinners on flat decks, and his medium pace provides flexibility for the bowling lineup. However, the team management will want him to perform well. If not, Yashasvi Jaiswal, a more well-rounded batter, is available.

India should consider giving game time to wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav to prepare for spin-friendly pitches in the Caribbean during the Super Eights.

Squads:

India: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Siraj.

United States: Monank Patel (c), Aaron Jones, Andries Gous, Corey Anderson, Ali Khan, Harmeet Singh, Jessy Singh, Milind Kumar, Nisarg Patel, Nitish Kumar, Noshtush Kenjige, Saurabh Nethralvakar, Shadley Van Schalkwyk, Steven Taylor, Shayan Jahangir.

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