India grapples with an Avesh Khan dilemma |

India grapples with an Avesh Khan dilemma |

Avesh Khan went for 47 in 3 overs

Eyebrows were raised when Avesh Khan was chosen to go last past Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the second T20I against West Indies, which India lost with 11 to defend. Wandering with his front foot, a no-ball prompted a six and the game was over and dusted, giving the West Indies their first victory over India in three years.

When asked why Avesh was given the responsibility, India captain Rohit Sharma said: “We are well aware of what Bhuvi is doing for us as he has been doing it for a very long time. You won’t find never until you give men like Avesh and Arshdeep a chance to prove themselves. But it’s just a game. They already have the necessary knowledge and expertise, so the next step is to give them support.

Less than 24 hours later in game three of the match, Avesh struggled again. He conceded at 15.66 in all three overs, giving up 47 runs, taking another dent in his brief international career so far.

West Indies batters tend to like pace and Avesh served them in Game 3 and paid the price. He also played one length and was picked up for runs. By contrast, Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up pace steadily and played back from length; Arshdeep Singh played either full-length or back-length with an offbeat pace and was able to contain the batters to some extent.

Avesh in the death in the last five T20I conceded 17.4 runs an over in 5.2 overs without a wicket: 0 for 14, 0 for 19, 0 for 11, 0 for 20, 0 for 12 (in 2 balls) and 0 for 17. He now also has the highest save rate of an Indian pacer in T20I innings with a minimum of two overs – in today’s match with 15.66 run overs.

On the same pitch that saw the second T20I play, the stick was expected to be a little tricky. West Indies were contained in the middle but some big hits from Shimron Hetmyer towards the end gave them a total of 164. India then continued their aggressive batting approach with Suryakumar Yadav leading the chase from the opening spot and set it up perfectly. slow pitch, after Rohit Sharma retired injured with a back spasm.

Suryakumar was clinical in the middle, putting on a display of his striking skills. He scored a stunning 76 on 44 balls including 8 fours and four sixes. Suryakumar had started from the start, and in a superb partnership with Shreyas Iyer worth 86 from 59, he set the stage for a successful chase that ended in 19 overs.

Rohit defended India’s struggle from the left-arm angle, and West Indies added another left-arm option by bringing in Dominic Drakes for Game 3. India’s top order has recently battled the likes of Shaheen Afridi, Reece Topley, David Willey as well as Obed McCoy in the second T20I.

It didn’t make much of a difference for Suryakumar, who kept the runs smooth and the limits coming. Never mind that both teams had less than 24 hours to recover from a delayed start in the second T20I. It didn’t matter that Rohit left the field not even two overs in pursuit. What mattered was that even in such a crippled situation, Suryakumar had the wherewithal to navigate alongside him past the obstacles in front of him and his team. While Suryakumar is the luxury that India possesses, there is a dilemma for India vis-a-vis Avesh as they have only a limited number of chances to give before deciding their contingent for the T20 WC.

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