India find Success in T20 and Unearth New Bowlers as Middle-Order Continues to Struggle

The Limited-overs leg has been finished, with both series having its winners decided early.

Though the second game decided the series on both occasions, the matches were closely contested.

There have been a few changes, and India also had their ten-game T20 streak broken after losing the third T20.

They lost the ODI series, facing challenging targets, and won the T20 series.

Both sides had workload management in mind, and injuries kept some players out of the series.

India took the chance to try some new players and improved their bench strength.

During the ODIs, the batting did well to score above 300 in each game.

The batting depth improved as India found finishers in Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja.

There have been a few takeaways so far, which we will look at from India’s perspective.

Pandya and Jadeja as Finishers:

India find finishers in Pandya and Jadeja

With Pant out of form and a weak tail, India’s ability to bat long has been worrying.

The batting isn’t the deepest as Pandya plays at number six, as a pure batsman.

During this series, the ability to provide strong finishes has been proved well.

Pandya and Jadeja have proven their abilities to attack well and also play sensibly throughout the tour.

Pandya has made an impact with the bat each time he went out to bat and showed he could bat sensibly as well as attack.

Ravindra Jadeja has also been improving with the bat over the last two years and has continued to do well.

The pair shared a match-winning partnership in the third ODI, and Jadeja finished healthy well in the 1st T20.

Natarajan Shines on Debut:

T Natarajan has been India's find of the tour
T Natarajan has been India’s find of the tour

T Natarajan was picked on the tour as a net bowler initially.

With injuries to Chakravarthy and later Saini, Natarajan found his way in the white-ball squads.

His left-hand variety is something that attracts attention as he also can nail the Yorker.

With India’s fast bowling off the mark in the first two ODIs, Natarajan made his debut in the final game.

He bowled well in the death and impressed in the T20s with a reasonable economy rate and six wickets.

Natarajan was Virat Kohli’s trump card in the T20s, and his performance showed glimpses of what he may do if given more chances.

Natarajan showed he could do more than the Yorker as he unleashed a variety of deliveries.

He has certainly put himself on the radar for the T20 World Cup, and few more good performances will all but seal his place in the side.

Increased Variety in the Bowling Line-up:

Left out of the first T20, Chahal came in as a concussion sub to take three wickets and won India the first T20.

He didn’t have a good ODI series and correctly corrected his mistakes in the first T20.

Washington Sundar also came good with the new-ball during the T20s.

He maintained his tight lines and was economical, as pressure was built in the game’s initial stages.

The two bowlers complemented each other well, with one bowling economically and the other with aggression.

The pace bowling also picked up, with Shami doing well during the ODIs and Bumrah finding form in the final ODI.

Thakur found form in the third ODI, with three wickets, and did well in the T20s, while Ravindra Jadeja, like Sundar, was economical throughout the ODIs.

Kuldeep Yadav has also found some form in the final ODI and will hope to carry his skills to the Tests.

With the bowling skills shown, India builds a strong pool of bowlers ahead of the T20 World Cup.

With Sundar, Jadeja, Chahal, and Kuldeep Yadav and Shami, Bumrah, and Natarajan, the bowling attack can contain a lot of variety based on the selection.

If Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya can get back to fitness, the bowling attack options will increase even more.

Butterfingers in the Field:

The fielding has not been excellent for India, with some crucial catches going down throughout the series.

To think that some dropped the catches of India’s best fielders adds to the concerns.

The dropped catches proved costly as Australia put up huge scores in the ODIs and the third T20.

Players going on to play the Tests may need to work on their catches as they could prove costly in the game’s longer format.

Middle-Order Questions:

Shreyas Iyer has been backed as the middle-order batsman and will have to find ways to nail his position in the side

The middle-order continues to be a question for India, as they trialed Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, and Sanju Samson.

Shreyas Iyer has been backed to do the role and given a more extended role in the ODIs, but neither managed to nail their positions.

Manish Pandey had one outing in which he struggled.

Sanju Samson got off to thrilling starts but couldn’t convert.

Shreyas Iyer got starts in the ODIs and a good cameo in the T20s but also had some low scores.

The three are yet to prove themselves in the spot as the competition keeps rising.

With Rohit Sharma returning in the future, KL Rahul may drop down, resulting in a spotless to fight for.

Rishabh Pant and Suryakumar Yadav are also on the sidelines and can add to the competition.

Another consideration could be pushing Jadeja and Pandya up the order, strengthening the bowling, and adding some more all-rounders.

Sixth Bowler issues:

With scores in the high three hundred in the first two ODIs and high scores in the T20s as well, India faced issues with the lack of part-time options.

With no sixth bowler, expensive bowlers like Saini and Chahal later had to bowl their full quota.

India did try Mayank Agarwal and risked Hardik Pandya, but if Hardik Pandya cannot bowl regularly, India needs to find other part-time options.

They had many in the past who could bowl one or two overs and benefit with some options now.

Sanjay Sanapoori

A mechanical engineering student, who has immense love for cricket. Been a fan of the game since 2009 and would love to stay involved with Cricket someway or the other.