Team India had a memorable night on Tuesday as they lost four goals to Australia in the first T20I of a three-match series in Mohali. Despite setting a huge target of 209, the Rohit Sharma-led team failed completely with their catch-ups, including Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadavand Hardik Pandya, conceded 150 times in 12 rounds. Out of all the players controlling the tempo, Harshal, who is back on the team after being ruled out due to injury, completely let the fans down as he ran away 49 times during his spell.
However, the former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar doubts whether the pitch will be effective on Australia’s flat, bouncy court during the T20 World Cup in October-November.
“Harshal is someone we’ve seen for years. We’ve also seen him in the IPL. He’s a guy who revolts when the pitch gets dry when his slower ball gets really slow and backs up. so it’s very difficult to play,” Manjrekar told Sports18.
“Last time his slower balls were around 120kmph. So it wasn’t a huge drop in speed. So Harshal is a worry if the pitch is flat, bouncing and That’s what you’re going to get in Australia. So that’s another thing that India will keep an eye on, Harshal’s skills in Australia,” Manjrekar added.
Earlier this year, Harshal was beaten on Ireland’s flat court, where he let in 54 runs in his spell of 4 more. Despite all those factors, the team’s leadership has added Harshal’s name to the T20 World Cup typical squad, which will fly to Australia in October.
Coming to the first T20I, it is Hardik’s second T20I in half a century that helped India to win the 208/6th crown. Earlier, KL Rahul (55 off 35) and Suryakumar Yadav (46 out of 25) laid the foundation for India.
However, that was not enough as Australia chased the target with four backup deliveries.
Axar Patel shined with the ball, taking three brackets in just 17 runs of his four passes, but the rest of India’s pitchers were caught clean by the Australians.
Both teams will attend the second T20I match on Friday in Nagpur.
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