AUS 1-1 IND T20 series, my observations.
- Shikhar Dhawan (58), Virat Kohli (65) and Dinesh Karthik (52) shine with the bat bigtime. Their impact can be seen from the fact that the next best batting average came from Rohit (15).
- Dhawan’s strike rate this series was 182 – he finished as the highest run maker and player of the series. At one stage Dhawan was hitting with as much venom as Indian fans would have gathered to beat up Duckworth & Lewis after the first game.
- Dinesh Karthik is the finisher we have been searching in LOIs for long. Akash Chopra needs to learn cricket from scratch again!
- Kuldeep Yadav is developing into the only international bowler who can change a game in any state, any pitch, any format, and against any opposition. He reminds me of the peak Warne & Murali.
- Krunall Pandya was supposed to be our weakest bowler and was hit for many runs in the first game. He showed great character, coming back strong in the next two games, finishing as the highest wicket taker in this series and man of the match in the last game. His economy rate and batting needs improvement, but he has shown character, amidst adversity, in his first series overseas.
- Bhuvi and Bumrah were good in parts but gave away wides and bad balls in key moments, over the series. More is expected from them.
- The team management stuck to the same XI players for all the three games, displaying strong faith in the starting XI.
- Australia were lucky, very lucky not to be thrashed 3-0 this series. Rain and the much unverified Duckworth & Lewis rules aided them during multiple points of the series.
- Duckworth Lewis needs to be reviewed and fine tuned much before the ODI World Cup 2019. Such weird calculations only get exposed in big moments. Everyone was fine with the rain rule till it made mockery of a World Cup (1992) semifinal. A team making 11 runs more in a T20 and yet losing is like a team making 30 runs more in a ODI and still losing!! Adding 15 runs to the total score in T20 is like adding 40 runs to a total score in an ODI. So for example, a team is batting at 263/4 in 42 overs and then rain arrives. D/L upgrading that score to 303 in 42 overs is ridiculous to say the least.
- The Team India fielding was not up to international standards forget being at their own high standards. At least two catches were dropped and three key misfields took place every game this series.
- The wicket keeping gloves should go back to Dinesh Karthik who has earned a confirmed starting spot in the playing XI. In T20 games, barely 10%-15% of the balls reach the wicketkeeper and Rishabh Pant was fluffing some of them too.
- This was Pant & Khaleel’s first tour to Australia and they should be kept in the mix, while at the same time ensuring they have stiff competition. But it’s time KL Rahul is sent back to domestic cricket than listen to his PR machinery (ex-cricketers) harp about his talent, talent, talent. He has temperament issues and needs to sort himself out. Some of the catches dropped and misfielding issues came from him too.
- The coverage and camera work in this series was the worst seen in 20 years. Especially the camera angles used at certain times when a bowler would deliver a ball. It was totally unacceptable.
The eagerly awaited test series between these two teams start in eleven days time. Any win over Australia in Australia is worth viewing the match highlights, over the years, again and again. Dhawan, Kuldeep, Krunall, Kohli and Karthik have given us some moments in this T20 series, worth watching re-runs. I will use the next eleven days to watch those moments only, again and again.