Team India will take on Australia in the second T20 in the three-match series on Friday, September 23 in Nagpur. This game will be crucial for the Rohit Sharma-led side as if they lose, they will not be able to win the series at home against the World champions.
Australia won the first game of the series by four wickets on Tuesday, September 20, and another win will help Aaron Finch’s side clinch the T20 series in India.
India’s batsmen played brilliantly, scoring 208 runs in the first T20I, but their bowling was poor, as Australia chased the mammoth total for the loss of six wickets in 19.2 overs. India’s inability to defend the total, it has happened more than once in this year.
India Struggled To Defend Targets
India has struggled to defend targets recently, losing to Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup Super-4. India failed to defend 208 against Australia, despite the experience of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel and the team management allowed Jasprit Bumrah to recover a little longer.
‘This Problem Isn’t New. It’s Existed For Few Years’: Sunil Gavaskar
Batting first in last year’s T20 World Cup, India was effectively eliminated from the tournament after losing to Pakistan and New Zealand, and the problem still exists a year later. The problem has persisted in Indian cricket for the past few years, and India legend Sunil Gavaskar believes the problem needs to be addressed immediately if India is to start winning major tournaments.
“This is India’s weakness. This isn’t a new problem. It has existed for a few years now that when they are defending, they find it difficult without Bumrah.
“When he is there, the score can be defended but without him, they give away even 200-plus totals. Having said that, we need to look at the solution for it. Else, going forward, it may hurt them,” Gavaskar said on Sports Tak.
“About his (Bumrah’s) fitness, I feel that since he is such an important member of the team, the management wants him to be entirely fit and only then he be picked in India’s XI.
“Maybe he plays in Nagpur, or maybe he doesn’t. But here is the thing. When the Indian team is chasing a target, they win matches. But it’s the opposite the other way around. The bowling that is needed between Overs 16 and 20, they still don’t have it,” Gavaskar added.
The second T20 of the three T20 series will be played at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur. Team India has to win to stay alive in the series.