Nasser Hussain said Rohit Sharma and his boys need to play left-arm pace bowling a little better in the preparations for the 2022 T20I World Cup. India won its first ODI series in England since 2014-15 on Monday after defeating the hosts by 5 wickets.
Chasing a tricky 260-run target at Old Trafford, Manchester, the Men in Blue lost their top-order in what turned out to be a nervy chase. However, Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant teamed up to rescue India with a 133-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
While Hardik Pandya scored a 55-ball 71, Rishabh Pant returned with an unbeaten 125 off 113 deliveries after bringing up his maiden ODI hundred. The cricket fraternity was all praise for both cricketers who displayed a phenomenal batting show, helping India pocket the ODI series 2-1.
Nasser Hussain: India Needs To Play Left Arm Pace A Little Better
Former England captain Nasser Hussain lauded India’s bench strength.
Asked if Rohit Sharma & Co are prepared for the upcoming 2022 T20I World Cup in Australia, Nasser Hussain said, “India are a very strong team, but they need to learn from what happened in the past. In the last T20 World Cup in the UAE they were a bit timid with the bat, so they need to stop being that.”
“When you have Pandya and Pant in the middle order and then Jadeja that rope to follow, you don’t need to be timid at the top.”
The cricketer-turned-commentator highlighted a few moments when Indian batters succumbed against left-arm seamers. Recalling India’s fixtures against arch-rival Pakistan from T20 World Cup 2021 and ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final, Nasser Hussain said Rohit Sharma and his boys need to play left-arm pace bowling a little better.
“They need to play to left arm [pace bowling] a little bit better. History tells you that Shaheen Shah Afridi blew them away one evening in Dubai, Mohammad Amir blew them away one afternoon at the Oval in a final, and Reece Topley has blown them away here [at Old Trafford].”
“They need to be a bit more tensed to their batting so some of their seamers will come down in a T20, in the last two overs with 20 to win. One of those seamers will need them to get across the line,” Nasser Hussain added.
Pakistan’s left-arm seamer Shaheen Shah Afridi bowled a terrific spell of 3/31 with three prized scalps of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Virat Kohli in the 2021 T20I World cup group stage match against India, which Pakistan won to break the jinx of losing in World Cup matches.
This terrific spell of Shaheen Shah Afridi (3/31) restricted India to 151/7 in 20 overs. In response, Pakistan chased down it comfortably as their captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan scripted a historic 10-wicket win. Babar Azam scored 68 runs in 52 balls while Mohammad Rizwan played even better with a knock of 55-ball 79 runs.
Mohammad Amir had figures of 3/16 in 6 overs in the final of the 2017 ODI Champions Trophy against India. India managed only 158 in reply to Pakistan’s 338. Mohammad Amir got rid of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Shikhar Dhawan with just 33 runs on the board. Pakistan then registered a convincing 180-run victory.
In the 2nd ODI at Lord’s, Reece Topley ran through the Indian batting lineup as he took six wickets for only 24 runs in 9.5 overs to secure a 100-run win and level the series one apiece before India won the series.
Nasser Hussain: Virat Kohli Will Be Fine Once He Is Out Of The Break
The former England captain further spoke about Virat Kohli who hasn’t been among runs for the last two years. The latter had an underwhelming tour of England which continued to expose his weakness – the deliveries moving away from the off stump. In the rescheduled Test, he registered scores of 11 & 20 across innings. He got a total of 12 runs (1 and 11) in two T20Is and scored just 33 (16 and 17) in the last two ODIs.
Nasser Hussain opined that once Virat Kohli is back from the break, he’d be fine, adding that India just needs to play the ICC tournaments as they compete in bilateral games.
“They have got fit; they have seamers to die for. Their batting, Virat Kohli will be fine. Once he is out of the break, he will be absolutely fine. They are positioned nicely. They just got to play ICC tournaments just like they play bilateral tournaments,” Nasser Hussain concluded.
Virat Kohli scored only 11 and 20 in the 5th Test against England. His poor form continued in T20Is too as he failed to make a mark on his comeback. The batting superstar was out for just 1 off 3 balls in the 2nd T20I and scored 11 off 6 balls in the 3rd T20I before a minor groin strain ruled him out of the 1st ODI. He scored 16 in the 2nd ODI and 17 runs in the 3rd ODI.