Sunil Gavaskar wants India to make this change after losing the 1st T20I

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India should bring Dhawan back and have Rahul at No.4, feels Sunil Gavaskar

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SportsCafe Desk

02/27/2019

Former Indian opener and legendary batsman, Sunil Gavaskar has expressed that he would want India to bring back Shikhar Dhawan and push KL Rahul to bat at No.4 in the decider. He also backed dropping Umesh Yadav and Dinesh Karthik for their inconsistency in the limited-over format of the game.

Team India had decided to drop Shikhar Dhawan and experimented with KL Rahul at the top of the order in the first T20I against Australia in Vizag. Although Rahul made a strong comeback with a fifty to his name, he got out at a crucial point due to bad shot selection. Rahul top-scored for India in the match as the hosts were restricted to 126 in the stipulated 20 overs.

“The plus point for India is Rahul's return to form and Markande showing good temperament under pressure. The fielding though with two wicketkeepers in the outfield meant that the extra run was always on for the Australians. India would do well to bring Dhawan back and have Rahul at No.4,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for the ToI.

The Virat Kohli-led side also featured three spinners and three wicket-keeper batsmen in the match. MS Dhoni failed to clear the boundaries nor trust the No.8 batsman as India were restricted to a marginal score over a run a ball. However, it would be cruel to lay the entire blame on Dhoni as wickets kept tumbling at the other end leaving the former captain to play with the lower order against a formidable attack. 

“The first thing that every team must realize especially in the ultra- short format of the game is never to underestimate any opponent. India may have just done that at Vizag as they went in with just three recognized batsmen with the likes of Pant, Dhoni, Karthik, and Pandya to push the score along. Rahul batted well but was not able to carry on after a half-century and that too with almost half the overs remaining. That meant the new boy Pant and the other two keeper-batsmen had to bulk up the innings. That didn't quite happen,” Gavaskar added.

While Pant was unfortunate to get run-out from a breathtaking fielding effort by Jason Behrendorff, Dinesh Karthik let the ball straight through the gate which lead to India's batting collapse in the first T20I.  However, the match went down the wire and despite Jasprit Bumrah’s heroics, Australia managed to cross the line scoring 14 runs of the final over bowled by Umesh Yadav, who conceded two boundaries to the Aussies at the death.

“Umesh Yadav, despite being around for such a long time, is not convincing as a white-ball bowler, so India could well do with a replacement for him. Dinesh Karthik is also short of confidence after the last T20 game in New Zealand,” he concluded.

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