Former Indian batsman and legend of our great game, Sunil Gavaskar has reiterated the need for Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma to get going as soon as possible and provide India the good start it needs in the series-deciding T20 International in Bristol on Sunday, July 8.
India handsomely won the first T20 in Manchester and lost an eventually close one in Cardiff, but what has been common in both matches is the bad start at the top of the order, something India just can't afford going forward.
In his column written for TOI, the great man wrote, "India need a good start from their openers and they haven’t got it in the first two games and so that’s putting pressure on those coming after to bat. If they can avoid losing wickets in the powerplay over they give themselves a good chance to put up a good score or even chase a big target. Of course all that depends on the toss so let’s hope Kohli calls it right at Bristol"
"India lost their first three wickets in a heap including that of the previous game centurion KL Rahul, to a forgettable shot but the skipper along with the experienced Suresh Raina stitched a partnership to steady the innings. Still, it was never going to be enough even after MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya smashed debutant Jake Ball’s final over of the innings for 22 runs. That took the total to the average score at Cardiff,"
Clearly, it can be seen that teams prefer chasing rather than defending in modern limited overs cricket and Gavaskar reasoned it out by writing, "When two well matched teams square up in a T20 game in conditions that are not going to change over 40 overs, then invariably the team that wins the toss opts to chase knowing that it is a lot easier to do so than setting a target. If there is going to be no dew or the overhead conditions remain the same then it’s always better to field first"
He further wrote, "You know what the asking rate is and can pace the innings accordingly. On the other hand, the team batting first has little option but to try and smash the ball from the word go, as they don’t know what a safe total would be. In attempting that if they lose early wickets especially in the first six overs of field restrictions then it becomes hard to put up a challenging target,"
(Inputs from Sports Cafe)