Former India opener Kris Srikkanth reckons that skipper Virat Kohli is missing the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya in T20Is. As India prepare for a West Indies in the series-deciding third T20I at Mumbai today, the Indian bowling is under the scanner.
While in the 1st T20I at Hyderabad, the bowlers conceded over 200 runs bowling first, in the second T20I at Thiruvananthapuram, they failed to defend a total of 170 as WI romped home with eight wickets in hand and nine balls to spare.
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“At first glance, Virat Kohli is for sure missing the laser-like precision and airspeed of the speedster from Gujarat. The two games have not been easy on the bowlers. Flat tracks, dew and poor fielding have all added to their misery,” Srikkanth wrote in his column for The Times of India.
Heading into the decider Srikkanth believes that the young brigade will come through.
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“Now they have all to play for in the decider and it is this kind of pressure cooker cricket this young team should grow more accustomed to. Without a doubt, clutch situations bring out the best in athletes, and I am sure each and every member would like to put his hand up to be counted,” opined the former India international.
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Talking further about Bumrah, he said the Gujarat pacer has the skill set to come out trumps in any condition.
“At the same time, the Indian attack has looked flat. Bumrah is the kind of bowler who has the skill sets to take conditions out of the equation. The awkward angles he creates and the ability to deliver the yorker at will makes him the bowler he is. Variations are his natural asset as well.
“If one watches closely, Bumrah also helps the bowler at the other end to strike by stifling the run rate. The captain is at liberty to use his four overs at any stage, this option makes him the most valuable commodity in the team and they have missed him dearly. When not given a track that aids turn, the Indian spinners have been short of ideas,” he went on.
Last time West Indies played a T20I against India at the Wankhede was in the 2016 T20 World Cup semi-final, which the Windies won and Srikkanth says they will take that confidence into the final match of the series.
“The visitors will have better memories of Mumbai, especially when it comes to this format. The hosts, on the other hand, will be desperate in their bid to prove their attack is more than just Bumrah,” he added.