The only alternative to cricket is to have the same real-time “like for scenario” before a choice came during the match. Perhaps when “runners” were allowed. Then it was not a matter of having a commonality between two individuals, but more to do with their dress. The rule for the runners was that the player coming to the aid of the injured or tired batsmen had to wear the “same external protective equipment” as his partner and drive the bat. But at least there was a sense of touchiness in those guidelines. Unlike “Like for Like” used in a Concentration Options context.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja are not made the same. They do not bowl with the same hand and even their beards do not look the same. But on Friday (4 December) at Manuka Oval he was deemed “Like for Like”. And even though Justin Langer does not agree with it, both were interchangeable as specialist spinners. Especially since it was not a question of Jadeja to bat in place of Chahal.
India’s success in Canberra, however, was not just an orchestra by his sensory choice. Chahal certainly revealed early successes in the play, dismissing both Aaron Finch and Steve Smith. But the real motivation of the win was kept by the visitors as opposed to ‘like’ for those who played in the ODI series last week. While Chahal had the general effect, the premise of his prosperity was T20 experts Washington Sundar and Deepak Chahar. It was a far cry from the pace the Australian team had to face in the 50-over format, with Jaspreet Bumrah resting and Mohammed Shami making the first change.
Chahar may have started a little expensive, but Steve Smith was troubled by a brilliant spell. Where he also took two catches off consecutive balls. He eventually got rid of Moises Henriques, who showed some resistance. In the interim, Sundar showed improvement over most T20 off-spinners, offering nothing to the Australian batsman, getting done with a surprising figure of 0/16 out of 4 overs. The killer came from Nataraja T Natarajan, who was initially like Sundar and Chahar. One of those like a replacement for the touring T20I.
Talking about experts and replacements, the Indian team management will be busy with not one but two playing axes in Sydney on Saturday (5 December).
Dramoyne to start with one for India’s first red-ball warm-up game at the Oval. Where he was made up of the Australia A team, which included some Test stars including captain Tim Paine. While most pick the names themselves, Test regulars R Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw and Umesh Yadav. In particular, question whether the visitors will take a couple out of the TII squad, in particular Mayank Agarwal. Who facilitated the first Test in Adelaide. Also questioned how long it might take for Ravindra Jadeja to recover from his hamstring injury, after being ruled out of the T20I series in Canberra.
There is news from the camp that it will be closer to three weeks. Which will still be in contention for a possible shot at the Boxing Day Test. R. to be with Indian staff as head coach Ravi Shastri and bowling coaches Bharat Arun and R. Sridhar. The division of support staff is expected with Sridhar in charge of the India ‘A’ team at Drumenay.
However, a T20I series is to be won at SCG, and will be focused there later in the day. The Australian team has some very intriguing questions to begin with the fitness of captain Aaron Finch. But it only becomes more interesting if it is rejected. Could this perhaps indicate Smith’s return to the helm? But if it doesn’t, will he be the captain again.
When: Sunday, December 6, 2020. 19:10 local time, 13.40 IST
Where: Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG)
For the first two ODIs, the SCG had too many runs in pitches.But was uneven until the end of the second match. The likes of Henriques, Chahar and Natarajan thrive on the up and down nature of the Canberra pitch. While you would expect power-hitters on both sides to take charge, it is not necessarily a big-score game.
Australia has been splattering for the players for the last few days. He brought Mitch Swepson into the mix for the T20I debut and already included off-spinner Nathan Lyon in the squad for the rest of the series. Finch’s injury could allow D’Arcy Short to retain his place, although you’d expect Alex Carry to return to the playing XI. Noting that he has not been named in the 13-man Australia A squad for Drummondoy . Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood came under some heavy fire early in the innings and it will be interesting to see if either of them takes a break to release Andrew Tye.
Possible XI: Aaron Finch (c) / D’Arcy Short, Alex Carrie (wk), Steve Smith, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, Sean Abbott, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood / Andrew Tye, Mitchell Swepson, Adam Zampa
India can remain attached to the same XI despite failing to fire on Shikhar Dhawan and Manish Pandey. It will be interesting to see again whether India plays Jasprit Bumrah here or puts him in Dramoyne’s morning bus.
Expected XI: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul (WK), Virat Kohli (C), Sanju Samson, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, T Natarajan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jaspreet Bumrah
Prediction: India to Win
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