New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar believes that the side’s bowling issues, especially its concerns in the death overs, can be sorted by the availability of pace bowlers Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.
In their last three T20I matches, India have been unable to defend 54, 42 and 41 runs (against Australia in first T20I at Mohali) in the last four overs. In all the three matches, Bumrah was unavailable due to back injury while Shami was ruled out of the series due to testing positive for Covid-19.
In the duo’s absence, senior pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been used in the death overs in last three matches. But he hasn’t been effective, conceding 16, 14 and 19 runs (against Australia) in the 19th overs of India’s last three matches. It is now expected that Bumrah will be coming for the second T20I at Nagpur.
“See after the Asia cup, I thought there were more wounds, deeper wounds. But this match (against Australia) actually has given me a lot of positives. The bowling issues will be easily addressed with Mohammed Shami being available and Bumrah coming back.”
“So, there were real important positives. After the Asia cup, I was slightly disheartened and pessimistic. But after this loss to Australia, I’m not that depressed,” said Manjrekar on ‘Sports Over The Top’ show on Sports18.
Manjrekar felt pacer Harshal Patel, who went for 49 runs in his four overs of T20I comeback at Mohali, including being hit for 22 runs in the 18th over, might struggle on pitches of Australia. “Harshal is someone we’ve seen for a number of years. We’ve seen him in the IPL as well. He’s a guy who rebels when the pitch is dry when his slower ball becomes really slow and becomes very difficult to play.”
“Last time his slower balls were going at around 120kmph. So, it’s not a huge drop in pace. So, Harshal is a worry if the pitch is flat, bouncy and pacy. That’s what you’ll get in Australia. So that’s another thing that India will be mindful of, the skills of Harshal in Australia.”
With India now 1-0 behind in the three-match series, they will next face Australia in the second T20I at VCA Stadium, Nagpur on Friday.