India’s biggest problem in the Asia Cup was playing spin. The strike rate of the Indian batsmen against pace was 161 while against spin it is 121, which is quite surprising as Indians are such good players of spin, historically.
According to Gautam Gambhir, it is the inability of the players to rotate strike that brings pressure on them when runs are hard to come by. So they are forced to play the big shots, which can’t come off every time, but if they can rotate the strike, the scoreboard keeps ticking and puts pressure on the bowlers. It will then make them bowl to their strengths.
KL Rahul has had a terrible tournament, where he got out to spinners three times and his strike rate was below hundred. Similarly, Virat Kohli, before the Afghanistan game, got out thrice to spinners and his strike rate was 120. Even Rohit Sharma got out thrice to spinners in four matches, but had a better strike compared to Rahul and Kohli.
Using the feet
One big problem, which has been addressed by Mickey Arthur, is that the Indian batters don’t use their feet and go to the pitch of the ball and play their shots. Also they don’t play enough sweep shots, which can put the bowler off track. In Indian team, Suryakumar Yadav plays the sweep shot well along with Dinesh Karthik and puts the bowlers off the track.
Playing spin is a big concern and with the T20 World Cup happening in Australia in 50 days’ time where the grounds are huge and clearing the boundaries would be difficult if players don’t rotate the strike and keep the scoreboard moving. Both Rishab Pant and Hardik Pandya are big-hitters, but they are not so good in rotating the strike. If they don’t get this problem sorted out, then India’s main batters work will be cut out during the World Cup and opposition teams will be targeting this area in India’s batting armoury.