India vs West Indies, T20I Series 2022: Suryakumar Yadav, Arshdeep Singh shine in different roles; Shreyas Iyer, Avesh Khan fail to impress so far.
India have been flying high after their comprehensive 7 wicket victory over West Indies during the third T20I game at Warner Park in Basseterre, St Kitts.
Whatever experiments the visitors have made keeping in mind the upcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia seem to be going in their favour. However, there are a few places where some individuals can polish themselves to get better with time.
Splendid Surya tops at the opening slot
When Suryakumar Yadav was thrown to the opening position with Rohit Sharma at the start of this T20I series, there were a few doubts whether India were going in the right direction but the Mumbai batter’s majestic knock of 76 runs in 44 balls during the third T20I that consisted of eight boundaries and four sixes, ended all suspicion.
Surya tested all the opposition bowlers in the phase just after the powerplay with his outrageous shots that stunned the spectators. Suryakumar didn’t bog down after the end of the first six overs and kept on smacking the bowlers; he got under a full toss from Jason Holder to score a four over mid-on before clubbing a six that cleared deep mid-wicket with ease.
SKY raced away to his fifth T20I fifty in just 26 balls with a six over square leg off Akeal Hosein before hammering a six and four off Alzarri Joseph. He cracked another boundary over short fine region against Dominic Drakes before being caught at fine leg on 76. The shots and the way he arranged India’s chase of 165 was nothing short of a miracle.
A day later, Suryakumar Yadav, who has now 111 runs in three games at an average of 37 and strike rate of 168.18 during the series, has climbed up to number two position in the ICC T20I rankings with 816 points. Given number one-ranked Babar Azam who has 818 points isn’t going to play his next T2OI in the next few weeks, Suryakumar has the best chance to grab the top position.
Rising left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh coming through the ranks
For a long time, India are trying their best to find a left-arm pacer who can be useful in different conditions and be entrusted with myriad responsibilities. When the India selectors are going to pick the squad for the T20 world cup, they may find the missing piece of the puzzle they were searching for.
Arshdeep Singh, who earned his maiden T20I cap recently against England, has shown lots of promise in the absence of prime bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. His job generally seems to be bowling two overs in the powerplay and rest two overs at the death.
During the first T20I game against West Indies, Arshdeep after going for a six and four against Kyle Mayers, changed his length and on a two-paced deck, the short ball ballooned up after Mayers mistimed that as the mid-wicket fielder grabbed an easy catch.
“The wicket was sticky; if you bowl in the right areas, use cutters well, it was a very good wicket in that respect,” Arshdeep shared his thought on the track.
The salient feature of Arshdeep’s bowling has his exemplary death overs skills and taking wickets using the slower balls; he also sticks to the basics of the game besides bowling to the particular field he himself has set or has been placed by the captain. That’s where his intelligence and execution help him immensely.
During the second T20I game, he bowled an excellent 19th over for the cost of just six runs in defending a low score. In the third T20I too, on a deck, where big shots appear to be coming at ease, Arshdeep Singh returned with 1-33 in four overs, bowled at the top and at the death.
With four wickets at an average of 20.75 in three games in the series, Arshdeep is going to be a great back-up option for India and perhaps can join the side for October’s world cup in Australia.
Shreyas Iyer’s inconsistency & the Avesh Khan conundrum
Along with many ticked boxes in India’s experiments, few issues have been marked out. Shreyas Iyer’s inconsistency in the series where he grabbed just 34 runs in three innings with a strike rate of just 80.95, is making it tough for the Mumbai batter. Definitely, it’s not the end of the road for him but undoubtedly, he hasn’t done justice to the given opportunities.
Shreyas Iyer began this year in a strong way, securing 204 runs in just three games against Sri Lanka at a strike rate of 174.36. But he didn’t stand true to expectations in this series even as Deepak Hooda is slowly grabbing his chances.
With just two games left in this series against the West Indies, Iyer has to polish his batting and start to convert the stones thrown at him into milestones. Undoubtedly, when in form, he is a treat to watch.
In the bowling department, Avesh Khan is being belted all around the park. When he was given the job of bowling the last over in the second T20I game against West Indies to defend 11 ahead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, eyebrows were raised. With Harshal Patel nursing an injury, Avesh was given an opportunity to showcase his ability in this series but it is fair to say that he has failed to complete the given job.
Less than 24 hours after failing to defend 11, Avesh was smacked again to go for 47 runs in just three overs at an economy rate of 15.66 runs per over. It is also now the highest economy rate by an Indian pacer in T20I with a minimum of two overs. Avesh has conceded 17.4 runs per over in 5.2 overs at the death in the last five T20Is.
In the recently concluded IPL 2022, Avesh was excellent with 18 wickets in just 13 games for the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) and his expertise seems to be bowling the hard and good lengths, intelligently coupled with slower ones. Definitely, it’s not the end of the road for Avesh Khan given he is just 25 but with a big talent pool available for India nowadays, Avesh should rectify his mistakes very quickly.
The fourth and fifth T20I games of the series will be played on August 6 and 7, consecutively at Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground in Lauderhill, Florida.