Despite the fifties from Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul in India’s 208/6 in the first T20I against Australia at Mohali, the hosts couldn’t defend the huge total. The thrashing of senior pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar by the Australian batters in the death overs has re-ignited concerns over India’s bowling having the arsenal to do well in the death overs.
In their last three T20Is where India has looked to defend and failed to do so, Bhuvneshwar has conceded 16, 14, and 19 runs (in the first T20I against Australia) in the 19th over.
With Harshal Patel ineffective with his slower balls and giving away 49 runs in his four overs, including 22 runs in the 18th over, much was expected from Bhuvneshwar to contain the run-flow in the 19th over, which he failed to do.
In the penultimate over in T20Is this year, Bhuvneshwar has leaked 97 runs at an economy rate of 12.12. But former Australia cricketer Matthew Hayden still feels that Bhuvneshwar is still adept enough to bowl the death overs for India in T20Is.
“I disagree with that, I think he can and has been a very good finisher. I think that’s his role, I mean, obviously, his role is to take wickets up front but if your skipper wants an over or two from you at the end, then he can do that,” said Hayden on ‘Match Point’ show on Star Sports.
Hayden went on to heap praise on young all-rounder Cameron Green, who smacked a 30-ball 61 for Australia while opening the batting for the first time in T20Is. Before Tuesday’s match, Green had a top score of 36 in 14 T20s and hadn’t opened the batting ever due to him being a middle-order mainstay in ODIs and Tests.
“Green, he has been a really big asset for Australian cricket for a couple of years now. He’s a genuine all-rounder. I just think he’s such a huge part of the future of Australian cricket. So it doesn’t really surprise me, he’s very capable, he’s a big man with good skills. He looked a little bit disappointing with the ball (1/46 in three overs), but it’s a tough place to bowl (on conceding 21 runs in the final over).”
With a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, Australia and India will next play in the second T20I at VCA Stadium, Nagpur on Friday.