Yuvraj Singh, architect of India's two 21st century World Cup triumphs - the 2007 World T20 and the 2011 ODI World Cup - brings down curtains on a glorious career that spanned 17 years on the international stage. An elegant and dynamic middle-order batsman with a panache that few have been able to match in international cricket, Yuvraj was also a handy part-time bowler.
The 2019 World Cup scoring sheet that was revealed a few days back had room for marking 500 runs in an innings with Tom Harrision, the ECB Chief Executive, quoted as saying – “We had to reprint the whole things because we think this is the tournament where the 500 run barrier will be breached for the first time in 50 over cricket.”
Nothing about Kedar Jadhav is conventional. From an uncanny bowling action to his quick, frenzied shuffles at the crease, there is nothing copybook about him. Yet, in his own queer way, he has snugly fit into the Indian limited-overs side with his all-round prowess.
Kuldeep and Chahal have been used less in tandem with Jadeja making a return during the Asia Cup and edging out one of these two owing to his batting abilities, dynamic fielding and stump to stump lines with the ball.
For the record, Shane Warne has dismissed Sachin Tendulkar just thrice in Test cricket despite playing 12 Tests against him. Lyon, on the other hand, has bowled just 668 balls at Kohli to dismiss him on seven occasions.
As Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood kept ticking the scoreboard with singles, soaking in the warm applause of the crowd, you could see a frustrated Virat Kohli going grimmer with each passing over. Finally, there was jubilation and relief after KL Rahul snapped a catch to get rid of Hazlewood that sealed India’s win. But Adelaide yet again exposed what has become a perennial problem for India – to dismiss the opposition lower-order and tail quickly.
Till 2018, it was perhaps due to his ODI exploits that Shikhar Dhawan continued to enjoy a free ride in the Indian T20I side. A blossoming bonhomie with Rohit Sharma and an unmatchable swagger made him an essential presence in the shortest format of the game, but also one with little impact.
Krunal’s call-up to the T20I squad was perhaps long overdue. He had put in compelling performances in the IPL for Mumbai Indians including a breathtaking onslaught that won him the Man of the Match award in the IPL 2017 finals against Sunrisers Hyderabad. But India had Ravindra Jadeja followed by Axar Patel in the pecking order and Krunal wasn’t deemed ready to jump the queue.
Since the 2015 World Cup, India have tried quite a lot of players in the One Day International middle-order with an agenda of finding reliable batsmen who are capable of increasing the scoring rate in the middle and death overs. While several of them have been dumped without enough chances, Pandey is assumed to be among the few who have got a decent run in the middle-order.