IPL 2021: How well did India's T20 World Cup squad fare?

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27 Sep 2021 | 04:18 AM
authorAyaz Memon

IPL 2021: How well did India's T20 World Cup squad fare?

Here's a look at the form of players in India's World Cup squad during the first week of resumed IPL season

High drama is never away from the IPL. The first week of second phase threw up thrills and spills aplenty, successes and failures, a couple of topsy-turvy results and the alarm of a COVID-19 case as well. The second week should more or less resolve which four teams will make it to the play-offs.

This phase is being played against the backdrop of the T20 World Cup which starts next month, and all countries are also assessing the form of players who will be in the ICC tournament. Each member of the 15-strong Indian squad is currently  playing in the IPL, watched intently by selectors as well as the team management comprising skipper Virat Kohli, vice-captain Rohit Sharma and chief coach Ravi Shastri.

How are these players faring, are the early signs encouraging or ominous? Here’s a quick look at the form of these players in the first week since the IPL 2021 resumed.

Virat Kohli: Has had some cheer with his batting form showing a sharp upswing after a single digit score in the first match. His half centuries against CSK and MI had trademark Kohli cover drives, cuts, lofted on-drives, hooks, the feet moving well and balance perfect. After losing two matches, RCB won the third to give his batting and captaincy much needed sheen.

Rohit Sharma: Had an ungratifying first week. A niggle kept him out of the first game, and while he looked in good touch in the next two scoring 33 and 42, couldn’t ensure victory for MI, who have now lost three out of three games and are struggling to get into the play-offs. Some discomfort in running between wickets was discernible. Must find peak fitness and top form before the WC.

K L Rahul: A stroke-filled 49 in the opening match reiterated his class, but unfortunately could not lead Punjab to victory, the batsmen inexplicably losing nerve at the last hurdle. With captaincy pressure playing on his mind he fell to a casual stroke in the second match. The week was redeemed with SRH failing by 5 runs to overhaul Punjab’s modest score.


Rishabh Pant: On easy-paced tracks in the UAE, showed none of the technical shortcomings seen in England. Has looked in good nick with the bat though is yet to play a substantial knock. Has impressed with his captaincy, showing aggressive intent as well as tactical acumen. Under him, Delhi Capitals are thriving.

Suryakumar Yadav:  Smashing performances in the last few IPL seasons brought him on the radar of the selectors. Had a very good first phase this season, but has floundered so far in the second, falling cheaply in three matches to impetuous strokes. Needs some big scores to ensure he is not consigned to the bench during the WC.

Ishan Kishan: Flamboyant stroke player, like his MI teammate Suryakumar Yadav, has had a poor first week. Like Yadav – and probably because of the desire to make an immediate impact and vie for a place in the T20 playing XI -- has fallen cheaply through strokes of unnecessary risk and poor selection.

Hardik Pandya: Spoken off as a critical component of the T20 team because of his skillful fast medium bowling and strong finishing with bat, missed the first two matches because of a niggle. He had a nondescript performance with bat in the third when he played and didn’t bowl. This has cost MI dear, and raised questions about his fitness for the WC.

Ravindra Jadeja: Brilliant as always in the field, put in a crackling all-round performance to help CSK pip KKR in a humdinger. His 8-ball cameo (22 runs) swung the match in his team’s favor when the match looked lost. His partnership with Ruturaj Gaikwad helped CSK get out of deep crisis in the first match too. Picked up a wicket too against KKR to reiterate his value to CSK.

Jasprit Bumrah: Has carried his superb form from England to the UAE, from the 5-day format to T20 without much hassle. While MI have struggled, he’s shown excellent adaptability, and 8 wickets from three matches in his kitty. Was a trifle expensive – by his standards – in the match against RCB, but remains the most dangerous adversary for batsmen.

Mohammed Shami: Has silenced skepticism about his inclusion in the T20 World Cup with 5 wickets from two matches. Skillful and aggressive, he’s prized out top order batsmen in his first spell, and also bowled with splendid control in the death overs to justify the decision of India’s selectors.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Has looked lackluster in both matches. Not much swing – his strong suit – evident so far, and with his pace too hovering around the 128-130 mark, he’s been picked easily by batsmen, to protect their wickets or score runs freely whenever he’s lapsed in line and length. Need to tighten up.

Axar Patel: With 3 wickets in two games, he’s been more successful as a left-arm spinner than Jadeja. Flattish trajectory, with a deadly arm-ball, he can be lethal on wearing pitches. Decent bat too, though hasn’t had much to do in this department so far. Jadeja remains first choice all-rounder. To dislodge him will need something special from Axar.

R Ashwin: Making a comeback to the India T20 side after four years, now has to show that he wasn’t just a default choice because Washington Sundar is injured. Has a solitary wicket to show in 2 matches, but has bowled craftily, varying flight and line, and several other improvisations to harry batsmen. Adds splendid dimension to the spin attack when in form, as he is now.

Rahul Chahar: Had no wicket to show in MI's two games in the first week, got one in the third, but has been more bark than bite. Like his team, his form has been somewhat underwhelming. Must produce match-winning performances to help MI get into the play-offs, which in turn could convince the India team management to include him in the playing XI in T20WC.

Varun Chakravarthy: Has been the most impressive from the India T20 WC squad, bamboozling batsmen in all three matches. KKR captain Morgan has punted on him to open the bowling, and Varun hasn’t disappointed, bowling with immaculate control, befuddling batsmen with either way spin from an action which few have been able to read.

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Indian Premier League, 2021Mumbai IndiansVirat KohliRohit Sharma

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