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IND vs AUS 2022-23, Nagpur T20I: Jasprit Bumrah return on cards amid death-bowling woes

India will meet Australia in the second T20I in Nagpur on Friday. As the hosts trail the three-match series 0-1, they will be desperate to bounce back, besides looking to have Jasprit Bumrah back to curb death-bowling woes.

India vs Australia, IND vs AUS 2022-23, Nagpur/2nd T20I: Jasprit Bumrah return on cards amid death-bowling woes-ayh
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First Published Sep 23, 2022, 7:00 AM IST

Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah's healthiness level will be a concern as a confused Team India will look to bounce back against Australia in the second Twenty20 International (T20I) to stand a chance to stay alive in the three-match series. It will be played Friday at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur. Bumrah was out of action following the tour of England a couple of months back and had skipped the Asia Cup 2022 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as he was nursing a back injury. While he is in the squad for the ongoing Australia T20Is, the team management chose not to play him during the high-scoring opening match at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Tuesday, which raised doubts regarding his fitness.

Team India's worries escalated with the 'three-and-a-half' pronged pace attack, which included Hardik Pandya. Senior seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was taken to the cleaners, especially in the death overs. He leaked 49 runs in the three penultimate overs that he bowled in his last three T20Is, against Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia.

Against this backdrop, a fit and spirited Bumrah is a must-have for India, as the home bowlers are increasingly being battered on batting tracks. The worst part about the side is that only five more T20Is are left before the opening ICC T20 World Cup 2022 game against Pakistan on October 23 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), while the Indians look highly disturbed.

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If the bearing of the top three Indian bowlers was a problem heading into the Asia Cup, the more significant concern is the bowling disclosed in suitable batting situations. In all conditions, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal is India's go-to spinner but isn't looking ominous anymore. He has been expensive in the last few matches and will have to find a way to bother the batters on wickets that don't have much for the spinner.

However, all-rounder Axar Patel, who was quickly roped in as a likely replacement of injured all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, has proved his mettle with a three-for on Tuesday. India was also bedraggled on the field, found guilty of sinking three crucial catches, drawing criticisms from former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri.

As for India's batting, the argumentative strategy reaped the rewards, as KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav allowed India to post a 200-plus total after its top-order batters, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, were booted early. Designated wicketkeeper-finisher Dinesh Karthik didn't get enough chances on Tuesday and will probably be given ample game time, as the management aims to keep all the options spread, leading into the T20WC.

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However, Australia looks like a well-oiled machine, despite the absence of star players like David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Marsh. All-rounder Cameron Green nicely filled in the shoes of Warner with a scalding half-century at the top, which was only his second T20I. At the same time, former skipper and top-order batter Steven Smith and debutant Tim David also gave the side the necessary momentum with the required cameos.

The experienced wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade, too, flourished as a finisher, with a stellar knock of an unbeaten 45 off 21 deliveries. India will have to ante up to stop Australia from blazing all guns. On the other hand, Australia would be hoping for a more disciplined bowling show, as Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Green oozed runs in Mohali.

However, the VCA stadium wicket will be distinct from the Mohali track. It is expected to be slower, making the bowlers' role more evident in this tie. With chances of dew in the evening, teams would prefer chasing rather than defending.

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Squads
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.

Match details
Date and day:
September 23, 2022 (Friday)
Venue: Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Napur
Time: 7.30 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 Hindi & Sports Select (Also available in HD)
Where to watch (Online): Hotstar
Prediction: Chasing team wins with a substantial dew factor coming in

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