Beaten India aim for improved batting in 2nd T20 vs England

Ahmedabad, Mar 13 (PTI): Left shaken by a bunch of world-class operators, the Indian team’s white-ball stars will be aiming to put up an improved batting effort in the second T20 International against England in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
It was India’s first white-ball game in three months and the rustiness of some of the premier shorter format players like KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, and Yuzvendra Chahal’s showed in the first game in which the hosts were clinically outplayed.
However, as skipper Virat Kohli talks about players with X-factors doing the job, he would expect Rishabh Pant and Pandya to do a bit more with their explosive hitting, which should not be confined to one audacious reverse scoop (Pant off Jofra Archer) or a falling ramp shot (Pandya off Ben Stokes).
They are more than capable and will be expected to give a far better account of themselves, trying to play more shots square of the wicket like Shreyas Iyer did during his innings of 67 off 48 balls.
Both Pandya (19 off 21 balls) and Pant (21 off 23 balls) weren’t able to gauge the pace of the track as Archer and Mark Wood bowled fast and straight denying them any width for the cut shot. The extra bounce also didn’t allow them to drive on the up.
“The wicket didn’t allow you to hit the kind of shots you wanted to. Shreyas’ innings was an example of how you could use the depth of the crease, ride the bounce because there was variable bounce at times, and hit the areas square of the wicket which others failed to do.
“It was just a below-par batting performance and England made us pay for it,” Kohli had summed it up aptly at the end of the match.
The captain’s acknowledgement of Iyer’s performance could well mean that the wait for Suryakumar Yadav might get a tad longer with only one middle-order slot available currently.
However, Kohli’s propensity to change his playing XI at the drop of a hat is well documented.
While giving his team’s oldest member, Shikhar Dhawan, a couple of matches is perfectly understandable but how long does he want to persist with the left-hander, who looked completely out of sorts during his 4 off 12 balls.

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