It was a fine moment for fast bowler Siddarth Kaul as he finally made his India debut 11 years after his maiden first-class match.
The pacer was rewarded for his consistent performance in domestic cricket and in the IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad for whom he took 21 wickets fromm 17 matches this season.
Kaul was at his best on his debut against Ireland in the second T20 on Friday. Here is an analysis of his India debut.
RUNS CONCEDED: 4
30 SECOND REPORT
Ireland in white-ball cricket are the not the greatest team but they aren’t the worst either with some veterans of English domestic cricket in the mix. Kaul brought out all his variations to bamboozle the batsmen, with his knuckle ball proving almost impossible to pick. He only got to bowl two overs as every Indian bowler cashed in to bowl Ireland out for 70 chasing 214.
Sidharth Kaul becomes 75th cricketer to play for India in T20 International... Congrats— Broken Cricket (@BrokenCricket) June 29, 2018
Kaul’s knuckle balls were a delight to watch. Opener James Shannon missed the ball by miles in the pacer’s second over and in trying to attack the 28-year-old, got a top edge off an attempted pull and was caught at covers. If ever a wicket was earned in T20 cricket, that was it. Kaul has made life difficult for the best in the world in the IPL and Ireland simply got a taste of what we already know – that Kaul is a top-class white-ball bowler.
While he bowled brilliantly for his wicket, it almost wasn’t. TV replays suggested his foot was just about behind the line and the third umpire could have easily adjudged it a no-ball. That would have not only robbed Kaul off his maiden wicket but also resulted in a free hit. The pressure wasn’t on India, therefore such indiscretions didn’t matter. But such indiscipline can cost a team big time in a crunch game.
Was almost perfect in the two overs he bowled. Didn’t waste any time in bringing out his variations. Showed he has enough pace to hurry the batsmen on a slow pitch as well. Adds another dimension to India’s rich pace bowling arsenal and will keep regular seamers on their toes as Kaul has more than a decade of first-class cricket under his belt as well.
With almost a year gone since Ashwin was a part of India’s limited-overs plans, the road back for the Chennai man is tough but the No5 ranked Test bowler in the world is ready should an opportunity arise.
“It entirely depends on what other people (team management and selectors) perceive of my cricket,” Ashwin was quoted to as saying by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
“It’s definitely not in my control. Like any other cricketer, I want to wear the blue jersey and represent India at the World Cup. That’s obviously there deep within. At this stage of my career, physically and mentally, I am just focusing on enjoying my cricket. If I land an opportunity, I want to be in a good frame of mind to grab it with both hands”, he added.
Ashwin last appeared in the blues of India in a T20 during the side’s tour of West Indies in 2017 after they were crushed by Pakistan in the final of the Champions Trophy in England.
The 31-year-old has so far played 111 ODIs and 46 T20Is for India in his career and has picked up 150 and 52 wickets respectively in the format. Since the rise of wrist-spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been confined to the Test format.
While Ashwin still harbors hopes of an ODI recall before the World Cup, the spinner has backed India pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar to deliver in India’s upcoming limited-overs clashes against in-form England.
“England is a strong team in the shorter formats. They tweaked their strategy and team combination after the 2015 World Cup. The key for India in ODIs will be Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah’s death overs. Hopefully, it will be a high-scoring series”, he stated.
Kohli got out for naught in the first T20 against Ireland in the death overs after openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma had added 160.
The Indians made four changes to the team for the second match on Friday, with Kohli batting with KL Rahul at the top of the order. However, that move did not work out as Kohli looked tentative during his short stay at the crease which ended at nine from eight balls.
Kohli failed to get any timing on three successive balls from pacer Boyd Rankin in the second over, even getting a leading edge.
Then in the third over bowled by Peter Chase, Kohli looked to force the issue and tried to pull the pacer only to get a top edge to square leg, where George Dockrell took a fine catch.
Kohli wanted to get some runs under his belt in English conditions before the tour of England but that hasn’t happened after his neck injury ended a proposed county stint. His last substantial innings in a competitive match was 48 not out for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Kings XI Punjab in the IPL on May 14.
Also, his T20I form has taken a bit of a hit. In his last nine T20I matches, Kohli has scored just one fifty. He has failed to reach double figures in his last three T20I innings.