But to everyone’s surprise, the team management didn’t play him during the high-scoring first T20I in Mohali, raising doubts as to whether he was still top fit or not.
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Adding to the team’s concerns, the accelerated pace ‘three-and-a-half’ attack, including Hardik Pandya, was awarded 150 runs in 14 overs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the seasoned pro, has already been taken to cleaners. He has leaked 49 runs in the three penultimate overs (19th) he pitched against Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia.
Against this background, a fit and fiery Bumrah is a pre-requisite for India as the home bowlers are increasingly being discovered as batting belters.
Australia, on the other hand, looked like a well-oiled machine, despite the absence of protagonists like David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Marsh.
All-rounder Cameron Green slipped nicely into Warner’s shoes with a blistering fifty at the top in his second T20I, while Steven Smith and debutant Tim David also gave the team some momentum with pivotal cameos.
The veteran Matthew Wade also fulfilled the role of the finisher with a stellar 45 not out of 21 and India will have to pull its socks up to prevent Australia from freaking out.
However, Australia would hope for a more disciplined show from their bowling unit after the tempo trio Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Green bled runs at Mohali.
IND vs AUS Possible base XI:
India Predicted starting grid: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Australia Predicted Lineup: Aaron Finch (c), Josh Inglis, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Daniel Sams, Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson
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