THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: India’s batters walked away with all the plaudits for their aggressive strokeplay in the second T20I here but the performance of their bowlers too was very impressive in helpful batting conditions.
While Australia‘s bowlers struggled in the dew-laden conditions, their Indian counterparts came up with a masterful display.After being hit around the park by the visiting batters in the first T20I in Visakhapatnam, the cushion of defending a tall target of 235 helped them in the second game. However, the ground conditions presented them with an enormous challenge.
Dew may have been the reason that prompted skipper Suryakumar Yadav to introduce both his spinners – Ravi Bishnoi and Axar Patel – inside the Powerplay, as they were still able to bowl with a relatively newer ball. The move proved to be a masterstroke as the spinners not only put the brakes on the Australian scoring but also claimed three important wickets in the four overs they bowled in the Powerplay.
“It was really difficult to bowl by the sixth over, because of the dew. For Axar to come and bowl the way he did, and for Ravi Bishnoi to come and pick up the wickets at crucial junctures played a really important role. I think they were very selfless today and that really helped us do what we did today,” seamer Prasidh Krishna said, acknowledging the spin duo’s contribution to India’s win.
While Bishnoi (3/32) and Axar (1/25) were game-changers with the ball, Prasidh himself gave a good account of himself and came up with his best T20I figures (3/41). Though bowling with a wet ball was not easy, Prasidh felt that they were prepared for those challenges.
“As a bowling unit, we need to learn to tackle it (dew). We do practice (bowling with a wet ball), like putting the ball in water and trying to bowl with it. But then, I think the whole aspect of pressure and the game comes in. You are sweating, and the towel that you have is wet. I got a fresh towel after the third over. And then by the second ball of the fourth over, the towel is all wet again. You really can’t do much at that point in time. You do a lot of stuff (in training). But when it comes to the matches, it is a different ball game,” the Karnataka seamer gave an account of the challenges faced by bowlers.
After being called in as a replacement for injured Hardik Pandya in India’s ODI World Cup squad, the 27-year-old didn’t get a game in the tournament. The pacer isn’t disappointed but reckons that being part of that squad was the biggest learning curve. “I got to learn a lot. The way people prepare, the amount of information you can get. But then I felt the information was too much. It was too theoretical for me.”
Prasidh admitted that he struggled in the initial part of the first T20I in Vizag after sitting in the Indian team’s dugout for almost a month.
“When I came here (to the T20I team), it was more than theoretical for me. Because you need to come here and be able to execute things, and it is in competition mode. That is what exactly happened to me in the first game. It took me a couple of overs. I was lucky that I spoke with the right kind of people and they helped me rectify (flaws),” he said.