India’s build-up to the T20 World Cup began on a disappointing note as they went down to Australia in the opening T20I at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Tuesday.
Set a huge target of 209, Australia chased it down comfortably with four wickets and four balls to spare. While the batters did their job exceptionally well, it was the bowling and fielding unit that disappointed yet again. While all the bowlers apart from Axar Patel went for plenty in the match, it was a horrific show of the fielding unit especially that cost the Men in Blue dear.
India dropped three catches in total against Australia, out which two were crucial of Cameron Green and Matthew Wade, both of whom went on to play a huge role in scripting a memorable win for the Aussies. While Green was dropped on 42 and went on to make 61 off just 30 balls, Wade played a terrific knock of 45 off just 21 balls at the backend of the innings to take Australia home.
Axar Patel spilled an easy catch of Green in the deep midwicket off Hardik Pandya’s bowling, while KL Rahul dropped Steve Smith in the long off. Despite these setbacks, India made a comeback and were in for the kill only for Harshal Patel making a comeback to the squad after an injury lay-off dropped Wade on the follow through in the 18th over which was the last nail in the coffin for India. Wade and debutant Tim David combined together to plunder 22 runs in that particular over.
And just like other experts, former India international and selector Saba Karim and Virat’s Kohli coach Rajkumar too blamed India’s woeful fielding for their disappointing loss.
Talking during a cricket special show on India News presented by Dafanews, Sharma said, “Obviously when you are playing against such a quality side like Australia, you cannot be dropping so many catches. If you give them chances like this, then it is a given that they would run away with the match.”
“You just can’t do that with Australia especially when your bowling attack is not up to the mark. You do not have bowlers who can consistently clock 150 plus and then couple it with such horrible fielding, there is absolutely no chance that you could win. The fielding and the head coach needs to think about this and organise a special fielding camp or something to sort this out,” he added.