IND vs AUS 2022-23, Hyderabad T20I: Harshal, Chahal's form under scanner at the decider
India and Australia are locked 1-1 in the three-match T20I series. The decider will be held in Hyderabad on Sunday. Harshal Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal's forms would be under the scanner in this clash.
Team India hopes that its key bowlers, Harshal Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal, get back to their best, with the side taking on Australia in the series-deciding third Twenty20 International (T20I) at the Hyderabad Cricket Association Stadium on Sunday. India could bridge the gaps in Nagpur to level the three-match series, thanks to a thorough win in the eight-over-a-side game. Regardless, it would need its bowlers, especially Harshal and Chahal, to confound their battles ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia next month. India got off to an electric start in the last game, with leg-spinner Axar Patel bowling a spirited two-over spell, including a couple of wickets, while struggling towards the back of the innings.
While pacer Jasprit Bumrah is sure to maintain the obligation, senior seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar's insufficient show at the death overs is real trouble. He toiled in the Asia Cup 2022 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the opening match against Australia. He was dropped for the second T20I, as skipper Rohit Sharma might have thought he needed just four bowlers for the eight-over game, but Bhuvneshwar's form remains problematic.
Death overs specialist Harshal, who has returned from an injury, also hasn't motivated enthusiasm and conceivably needs a couple of matches to get back into the groove. The right-arm medium pacer relies on his interpretations to be efficacious but has leaked 81 runs in his six overs at an economy of 13.50 and is the most expensive bowler in the series. He has floundered to get his lengths accurate while he remains wicketless.
India relies on its spinners in the middle overs, and while Axar has been a huge positive, Chahal has stuttered. He went for many runs during the Asia Cup, and the tendency continues against Australia. Nonetheless, India will sigh as Bumrah was his vintage finest, barely showing signs of rust following his return from his back injury.
In the batting, the famed top-order, comprising Rohit, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, needs to be more even. The trio has not fired in unison for some time now. Suryakumar Yadav has also been patchy in the last few matches, with Hardik Pandya swirling out match-winning renditions. Another chink in the Indian batting is leg spin. They have struggled against leggies, and Adam Zampa has employed this weakness well.
Dinesh Karthik, who was the perfect finisher in the last match, will likely get more game time. Skipper Rohit would also like to give Axar, an ideal replacement for the injured all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, a go with the bat to watch how he fares in crunch circumstances. Furthermore, he is the only left-hander in the side besides Rishabh Pant.
On the other hand, the Australians would also be disturbed by their bowling. After outsmarting India in the opener, they were at the receiving end in the second, losing by six wickets. While Aaron Finch and Matthew Wade put runs on the board, their bowling department failed miserably yet again.
With injured Nathan Elis absent, pacers Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Daniel Sams conceded 11 runs-plus an over. All-rounder Cameron Green was also expensive. Wade has been brilliant with the willow, but with the T20WC to defend in their backyard, the Aussie team management would like the big-hitting Glenn Maxwell to pick up some momentum, having scored just one in the two contests. Come Sunday, and both teams would endeavour to iron out their armour chinks and come on top, while a series win close to the T20WC will be a moral booster.
Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade (wk) and Adam Zampa.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (vc & wk), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav.
Date and day: September 25, 2022 (Sunday)
Venue: Hyderabad Cricket Association Stadium, Hyderabad
Time: 7.00 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 Hindi & Sports Select (Also available in HD)
Where to watch (Online): Hotstar
(With inputs from PTI)