India entered 2020 with a clear objective and that was to have better results in the T20 format as they prepare for the T20 World Cup which takes place in October 2020 in Australia. India have done well in Test cricket and ODI cricket in recent years but their T20 performances have not been up to par.
Kohli and Shastri wanted to have better results in the T20 format as Shastri made it clear that one of the team’s main objectives is to bring the T20 World Cup home. Their first T20 campaign of the New Year was against Sri Lanka and they needed to win in convincing fashion to build confidence in their T20 game.
The first T20 match was abandoned due to rain and it turned the three match series in to a two match series which India went on to win convincingly. We look back at the 5 key positives that Kohli and his team will be able to take away from this series.
Saini And Thakur Impress India Fans
Without a doubt the performances of Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur are the biggest takeaways for team India. This series marked the return of Jasprit Bumrah from injury but Saini and Thakur stole the limelight picking up a total of 10 wickets between them in the two games.
The duo picked up 5 wickets each in the series. Saini was the man of the match in the second game and Thakur was the man of the match in the third game. Saini was also given the man of the series award. The two bowlers showed that they are great back up bowlers for Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and it will be up to the selectors to give them more games ahead of the T20 World Cup.
Back Up Opener
KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan had a chance to open this series as the selectors rested Rohit Sharma. Both openers clicked with KL Rahul scoring 45 and 54 while Dhawan scored 32 and 52. It was a good return for Dhawan and it gives India the comfort of knowing they have an experienced backup opener in case anything happens to Sharma.
Strong Middle Order A Relief For India
The middle-order has been India’s biggest worry in recent years in both the ODI and T20 format. India have fiddled around with different players and none of them really clicked. It looks like that problem has now been fixed as Shreyas Iyer has shown the confidence and talent to make the number 4 spot his own. Manish Pandey played a great knock in the third T20 and the selectors should give him a chance to seal the number 5 slot.
Not Kohli Dependent
India have depended heavily on Sharma or Kohli to score the bulk of the runs in recent times. This series other batsmen have taken the responsibility and India were able to score a lot of runs without Kohli making a big contribution. This is a big plus for the Indian team as it takes the pressure off Kohli to score and also allows him to have more faith in his batsmen.
India Carry Momentum
One of the biggest takeaways is that India have started the New Year on a winning note and have wrapped up the T20 series 2-0. This will give them confidence not only for their T20 World Cup campaign in October but also give them momentum going into their next series, which is an ODI series at home against a strong Australian team.
The first ODI against Australia will take place on Jan 14 in Mumbai.