IND vs AUS 2022-23, Mohali T20I: 'We all know what Bumrah brings to the table' - Pandya
India failed to deliver in the opening T20I against Australia in Mohali on Tuesday, succumbing to a five-wicket defeat. While India's bowling was again questioned, Hardik Pandya expressed the lack of Jasprit Bumrah.
Indian speedster Jasprit Bumrah was a shock omission from India's playing XI for the opening Twenty20 International (T20I) against Australia at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Tuesday. However, since he is returning from an injury, all-rounder Hardik Pandya affirmed that the team would not pressurise the premier fast bowler to play so soon. Bumrah, who failed to feature in the Asia Cup 2022 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to a back injury, has been named in the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 Indian squad for next month and the preceding Australia and South Africa series. He was poorly missed on Tuesday as the visitors comfortably chased down a competitive target of 209. At the same time, except leg-spinner Axar Patel, all bowlers leaked over 11 runs per over.
"We all know what he brings to the table and how important he is for us. There will be concerns here and there [regarding bowling] which is fine. We got to trust our boys. These are the best 15 in the country, which is why they are in the squad. Jasprit not being there obviously makes a big difference. He is coming back after an injury. It is important for him to get enough time to come back and maybe not put much pressure on himself," said Hardik.
Pandya smacked an unbeaten 71 off 30 deliveries, taking India past 200. He has been the side's stand-out player since his return post the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. He said about his recent performances: "I have gotten a lot of success recently but for me, what is more important is that even on my good days, how can I get better? In the kind of career graph I have had, I don't make a big deal about my performance, whether success or failure. I had a good game today. They could target me in the next game, and I need to be one step ahead."
Australia went hammer and tongs during the chase, mocking the Indian attack. Nonetheless, Pandya gave credit to the visiting batters. "There was no dew. You have to give credit to them for the way they batted. They played good cricket. We could not execute our plans with the ball, with our deliveries. You can't pinpoint why we lost. It is a game. It is a bilateral series. We got two more matches and will try to perform better."
Pandya was also all-praise for opener Cameron Green, who bashed 61 off 30 deliveries, sending the Indians in shock with his charge. "Good on him the way he played. We have seen a lot of videos, but it is all about executing your plans. He played some good shots and credit where it is due," he concluded.
(With inputs from PTI)