Sunday, July 14, 2024

India keep options open with final batting order in WC


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New York, June 2: The Indian team is yet to “nail” its batting line-up for the T20 World Cup and much shouldn’t be read into the think tank’s decision to send Rishabh Pant at number three in the warm-match against Bangladesh, said skipper Rohit Sharma.
India emerged winners by 60 runs at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, restricting Bangladesh to 122 for nine after posting 182 for five in the allotted 20 overs on Saturday.
On Pant batting at No.3, Rohit said, “Just to give him an opportunity. We have not really nailed down what the batting unit will look like.
Even the bowlers did pretty well. All in all happy with how things went.” Pant struck a fluent 53 off 32 balls, while Hardik Pandya smashed 40 in 23 deliveries after Suryakumar Yadav helped himself to an 18-ball 31.“Quite happy with how things went. Pretty much got what we wanted from the game. Like I said at the toss, it was important to get used to the conditions.
“New venue, new ground, drop-in pitch – important to get used to it and we managed pretty well,” Rohit said after the match.Left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh shone with the ball, picking 2/12 in three overs while all-rounder Shivam Dube grabbed 2/13 in three overs.
Asked about Arshdeep, Rohit said, “He has shown us, in whatever games he has played, he has the skills up-front. He has got a very good skill-set (at the death too).
“We saw it today. He bowled pretty well, swung the ball up front, and then bowled one at the backend. We have got 15 good players here. We have to see what the conditions are and then see what combination is best for us.” A little spongy at times:
India ticked multiple boxes during their comfortable win over Bangladesh in the warm-up match, but none bolder than the fifty by Pant which has all but sealed his place as the first-choice wicketkeeper batter in the ICC showpiece.
Arshdeep, who made good use of the pitch said the team was nicely adapting to the conditions despite some challenges.
“Feels good, really important how you start. We got wickets early on and did not give away runs. The wicket was helping us as well, so we tried to keep it simple and got the result as well.
“The ground is sand-based, so you need to get the rhythm right. It will be a challenge to adapt to the conditions here.
“We are adapting really well because the practice sessions were also there in the morning and everyone turned up and did their 100% there, that we can see on the field as well, the way we played as a team, and it was a nice result,” Arshdeep said.
Dube, who has made a name for himself with his ability to hit big sixes besides bowling his medium pacers, added, “It was fun playing here, and it was good to have a win in our first warm-up game. Obviously, it’s well-built. But there is a challenge for the players. It’s not easy.
“The warm-up match is important for us to be ready for the T20 World Cup. So it was important to get used to it in batting, bowling and fielding and hence, we got a good idea after playing today and it was a different experience,” Dube said.
Former India star Yuvraj Singh is amazed at the Americans’ penchant for packaging their sports and for cricket to make strides in the USA, he says the “locals” will have to “play the game and explore it”.
The USA and the West Indies are jointly hosting the ongoing edition of the T20 World Cup with matches being scheduled in New York, Dallas and Fort Lauderdale in Florida.
“To all the (Indian American) fans who come here for cricket, who I know want India to win, but I think you should encourage your American friends and all the people around the world to come and watch every game and encourage the sport of cricket in America,” Yuvraj said.
An ICC Ambassador for the T20 World Cup, Yuvraj was present at the opening of Fan Park at the Oculus Trade Centre in New York. (PTI)


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