Halfway through the Super 12 stage in the 2022 T20 World Cup, India find themselves answering a few tough calls.
Barring any upsets, the team does look set to making it to the semi finals but not all is hunky dory for Team India.
For starters, the “slam bang” approach adopted by India has gone to the bin.
Prior to the World Cup, India’s powerplay numbers were the best in the world and led by captain Rohit Sharma, India’s batting felt rejuvenated.
However, somewhere down the road, India dropped the ball. In the ongoing T20 World Cup, the team’s powerplay hasn’t seen any power hitting the fans were raving about all year.
India’s best powerplay came against South Africa, which was a far-from-great 33/2 against South Africa. Even against the low-ranked Netherlands, India could only manage 32/1.
This raises concerns about the lack of runs from the openers, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma.
KL Rahul was in stupendous form coming into the marquee tournament, slamming four consecutive fifties. But come the big event, his numbers have taken a deep dive.
The Karnataka batter has figures of 4 (8), 9 (12) and 9 (14) in this World Cup, which is a stark contrast to his recent form.
Is it the nerves or is it the Australian pitches? Whatever the reason might be, something is off and KL Rahul won’t have many opportunities to figure that out before he is skipped from the playing 11.
Moreover, the failure of Rahul to get going has also affected Rohit Sharma’s game and the duo together has been awfully slow.
Rohit averaged 38.5 in 2021 while striking at a rate of 151. But this year, his average has fallen to 25.5 while the strike also dipped below 140.
The Rahul-Rohit pair opened in 12 T20Is this year and amassed only 315 runs at a meagre average of 26.3. While it’s the openers’ job to lay a strong foundation for the team, the struggles of India’s opening pair have only made it difficult for the batters lower down the order, who now have to accelerate the innings as soon as they take the pitch.
India will most likely make it to the final four of this World Cup but if they are to emulate their success from the inaugural edition in 2007, the openers need to start firing.
Featured image: Aamir QURESHI / AFP