India will play their first T20 World Cup 2022 match against arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday, October 23 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The Men in Blue are then scheduled to play South Africa, Bangladesh, Group A runner-up and Group B winner.
Rohit Sharma lost both their pre-tournament practice games against Western Australia – by 13 and 36 runs respectively. While KL Rahul was amongst runs, the likes of Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya did not fire.
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The bowling department is without their ace pacer – Jasprit Bumrah. One between Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj will replace him.
Here is a SWOT analysis of the Indian team:
One of the biggest strengths of the Indian team in Australia is their top-order. Names like Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav can win games single-handedly.
Surya has scored 864 runs in 26 matches at a strike-rate of 180 in T20Is. He is currently ranked No. 2 in the ICC’s Men’s T20 batting charts.
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Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik only add to India’s firepower.
India are missing the services of Bumrah and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. The two were ruled out of the tournament with injuries.
Bumrah’s absence is expected to hurt India, especially with their death over bowling woes. In his absence, young pacers Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh have struggled to come to terms with the high-pressure job. Even the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar struggled during the recent Asia Cup and against Australia at home.
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Shami is widely expected to replace Bumrah, although he hasn’t played any T20 cricket since the last World Cup and has only recently recovered from COVID-19. The Men in Blue also don’t have a single left-arm pacer in the squad.
With Bumrah and Jadeja out, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh have a big opportunity to lead the team’s bowling efforts.
The three have become regular faces in the Indian T20I side but do not have the experience of bowling on Australian tracks.
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Pakistan have defeated India in two of their last three meetings in T20Is. South Africa too come with a strong team. Rohit Sharma and co will have to showcase their A-game to defeat both teams. Last year, in the T20 World Cup, India were defeated by Pakistan and New Zealand and were knocked out of the tournament in the group stage.
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Probable Playing XI for the ICC T20 World Cup:
Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel/Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Indian Team for ICC T20 World Cup 2022:
Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (Vice-Captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (WK), Dinesh Karthik (WK), Deepak Hooda, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammad Shami.