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India eye next-level T20I performance from Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar
The ever-milling modern-day sport does not allow extended celebrations and India, in the immediate aftermath of their T20I series triumph
Bengaluru : The ever-milling modern-day sport does not allow extended celebrations and India, in the immediate aftermath of their T20I series triumph, will have to hit game-mode and treat the fifth match against Australia here Sunday as a workshop to fit two key pieces in their grooves ahead of an exacting assignment.
Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Chahar will have significant roles to play in the T20Is against South Africa, beginning on December 10. In that context, the Indian think-tank will be eager to see them firing in their last competitive outing before facing the Proteas at Durban.
Iyer might have been in grand touch during the recent 50-over World Cup, but the Raipur T20I on Friday was the Mumbaikar's first international match in the shortest format in over a year after playing against New Zealand at Napier last November.
The rust was visible while making a 7-ball eight without a single boundary. So, Iyer will be looking to rack in some runs and he will be longing for an outing at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, where he cracked a hundred against Netherlands not so long ago in the one-day showpiece.
In fact, Chahar, who is regaining his range after a long injury lay-off, too finds himself in a similar scenario as Iyer. The fourth T20I against the Aussies was his first outing for India in this version after the match against South Africa at Indore in October last year.
The 31-year-old pacer, who charted his comeback through domestic events like the Rajasthan Premier League in September, did make an impression taking the wickets of Tim David and Matthew Short but gave away 44 runs in his quota of four overs. The nature of the Chinnaswamy deck might not be precisely of his liking, but Chahar has several variations up his sleeve to counter the docility of the track here. A power outing here against Australia can leave him in a good frame of mind, and he also does not have to worry about the outcome of the series as Suryakumar Yadav's side already has it in its pocket through a 3-1 lead.
The management might also want to have a look at off-spinning all-rounder Washington Sundar ahead of the SA sojourn. Sundar has been quite unfortunate to have countered injuries at several crucial junctures in his career.
But the 24-year-old Tamil Nadu player has managed a return to India colours during the T20I against New Zealand at Ahmedabad on February 1 earlier this year, though he did not bat or bowl in that match. Since then, Sundar played five more T20Is -- two against Ireland at Malahide and three matches at the Hangzhou Asian Games -- underlining his improved fitness levels. On the other hand, the Aussies have nothing to lose now as Matthew Wade and company would like to return home with a victory, an apt epilogue to their country's highly fruitful stint in Indian shores over the last two months.
India: Suryakumar Yadav (captain), Shreyas Iyer (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Shivam Dubey, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar.
Australia: Matthew Wade (captain), Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Ellis, Chris Green, Aaron Hardie, Travis Head, Ben McDermott, Josh Philippe, Tanveer Sangha, Matt Short, Kane Richardson.