Indian Cricket team analysis 2020: Biggest strengths and weaknesses explained
With the upcoming T20I World Cup in Australia, 2020 is set to be yet another huge year for the Indian Cricket team. The T20 World Cup is the only international trophy missing from Kohli’s glorious cabinet and he will be eager to change that, especially after the 2019 World Cup.
The Indian side also has challenging assignments in the red ball cricket department as they face New Zealand and Australia, both away! 2020 will be a moving year for the first-ever Test Championship and Indians will be looking to finish in the top two to play the final at the Lord’s in June 2021.
So, let us take a look at the Indian side and their strengths and weaknesses ahead of the 2020 campaign:
1. The Top Order
India’s top order in the limited-overs format is a force to be reckoned with. In the form of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli India have arguably the best top order in the world. The Hitman was on fire in 2019 with 7 ODI centuries and looks hungry for more in 2020. Shikhar Dhawan, despite an injury layoff, showed against Australia, why he is called the Gabbar. And Virat Kohli is simply Virat Run Machine Kohli!
The test top order looks a bit different with Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara in it. But don’t make the mistake of taking them lightly. Mayank Agarwal sealed the test opener’s spot in 2019 with an exceptional series against South Africa. Pujara continues to be the silent warrior in the otherwise aggressive team as he lets his bat do the talking. And Rohit Sharma also shut his critics with three test centuries in 2019.
Simply put, if you ever plan to test your luck on Indian cricket betting sites, don’t shy away from trying your wager on India’s top order destroying the opposition bowling-attack, every single time!
2. The Deadly Pace Attack
Gone are the days when India pace attack was two medium-pacers swinging deliveries in mid 130s. The new Indian pace attack is as deadly as it gets with everything from toe crushing yorkers to unplayable bouncers in their arsenal.
Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are the face of this new attack as Australians experienced it first hand in the recently concluded series. The new wave of young pacers will also be exciting to watch in 2020 as the likes of Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini have shown the glimpse of what they can do.
In tests, veteran Ishant Sharma will lead India’s attack in New Zealand and Australia with Bumrah and Shami in his support.
3. The KL Rahul Factor:
There is something special in the name Rahul. A guy named Rahul can do anything for the team. Before, it was Rahul Dravid and now its KL Rahul. The stylish batsman is in the best phase of his career and has proved his worth at almost every position he has been asked to bat.
But it was KL Rahul’s glovework behind the stumps against Australia which grabbed everyone’s attention. The 27-year old kept wickets in all three ODIs and he never looked like a makeshift wicketkeeper.
Rahul’s all-round contribution could really help Kohli for the T20 World Cup. With Rahul playing as wicketkeeper-batsman instead of struggling Pant, India could get more stability in the batting line-up.
1. Middle-order Conundrum
India’s middle-order hardly needs to break any sweat due to a very strong top order. But on an odd day when they are required to deliver, can we really bank on them?
The answer, unfortunately, is no. Despite loads of talent in India, Kohli is yet to settle on the players in the middle order in the limited-overs format. Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant are probably amongst the most talented batsmen in India. But they still need to prove their worth in 2020.
The test side is not very different in this scenario. Ajinkya Rahane has been inconsistent throughout 2019 and Hanuman Vihari is yet to seal his place in the side. After Kohli at No. 4, there are not many batsmen the side can bank on, except, Ravindra Jadeja!
2. Spinners in Limited Overs
Ashwin-Jadeja has been India’s spin pair for quite some time now. But that is not the case in the limited-over format. Kuldeep and Chahal were expected to be India’s long-term spin pair in ODIs and T20Is. But after a glorious start to their respective careers, both spinners have failed to show their magic off late.
Chahal wasn’t even used against Australia and Kuldeep took just three wickets in three games at the economy of 6.07. Jadeja has been consistent with a white ball as well but he needs the support from the other end and it needs to come from one of Kuldeep or Chahal.
3. The Pinch Hitter/Finisher
Australia has Maxwell, England has Ben Stokes, West Indies has an entire team and India? Pinch hitters are a crucial part of the T20 set-up. And with the World Cup just a few months away, India still don’t have a specialist pinch hitter.
Rishabh Pant was expected to play the role of pinch hitter cum finisher for India after MS Dhoni but the southpaw has failed to live up to the hype around him. With his glovework also below average, Pant’s place in playing XI is also in danger. So, does India have enough time to find a pinch hitter for the World Cup? Or will IPL 2020 come to their rescue?