Asia Cup India vs Nepal: India openers ensure no hiccups in truncated match against Nepal | Cricket News – Times of India

India beat minnows Nepal to enter Asia Cup Super 4
India skipper Rohit Sharma has played 423 domestic T20 games, including the IPL, and 148 T20I games. Shubman Gill has played 123 T20 games including the IPL and 11 T20Is. They know what to do when matches get condensed, as it did in Monday’s Asia-Cup clash against Nepal after more rain in Pallekele.
Nepal were bowled out for 230 in 48.2 overs, thanks to a controlled display of spin bowling from Ravindra Jadeja (3-40) and an economical spell from Kuldeep Yadav (0-34). However, a downpour that lasted almost two hours reduced the game to 23 overs, with India’s target revised to 145. For players who play so much T20 cricket, like Indians do, it is as routine as a 9-5 job.
Sandeep Lamischhane did trouble Rohit with his leg-spin for a few deliveries, but once the Indian captain connected with his first six over square leg, which was palmed over the ropes by Gulshan Jha, he was in the groove. He hit another one in the bowler’s next over, which sailed deeper into the grass banks. Gill too lofted Lamischhane over his head for a six.

During the six-day Asia Cup preparatory camp that the team had in Alur, there was a lot of emphasis on batters playing sweep shots against the spin to keep the scoreboard moving in the middle overs.
Monday was a good time to bring that preparation into play, especially for Rohit, who used it liberally. Gill too expertly essayed the slaps past point off pacers with a straight bat to collect three boundaries.


India’s catching was abysmal during the game against Nepal. Three catches were dropped in the first five overs. Even the ground fielding was below par. With the World Cup round the corner, this is a cause for worry. Team India must raise its game in the field.

India got home in 20.1 overs to qualify for the Super Fours. They next play against Pakistan on Sunday. While that game is scheduled for the R Premadasa 1 Stadium in Colombo, it might be moved to Hambantota because the forecast for Colombo over the next week or two is not great.
While qualifying for the next stage will make India happy, they have work to do on their fielding. Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli and Ishan Kishan shelled routine chances in the first five overs, which saw the Nepal openers Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh profit and rattle up 65 in nine overs.


The body language of the team looked listless. There were embarrassing fumbles and needless overthrows. India’s catching efficiency since the 2019 World Cup is at just 75.1%. It means 25% of the catches are going down. They are just above Afghanistan (71.2%) at the ninth spot among sides that have qualified for the World Cup.


Shardul Thakur dismissed Bhurtel caught behind with an innocuous delivery towards the end of the Powerplay, and that allowed skipper Rohit Sharma the comfort of placing two extra fielders outside the 30-yard circle and employ the services of Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav in tandem.


The tempo slowed and the Nepal batters started making errors. Bhim Sharki played on to Jadeja while driving through covers with an exaggerated bottom hand. Skipper Rohit Paudel was smartly pouched by Rohit at first slip off Jadeja low to his left.


Jadeja also had Kushal Malla for a low score as he tried an ill-advised biff over mid-off and could not clear Siraj. Sheikh, in the meantime, though accumulated the runs looking compact to get a well compiled 58. He was eventually pouched by Kohli off Siraj at cover despite him over-running the ball.

At 178/6, the umpires took the players off for an hour following a steady burst of rain. When play resumed, attractive strokeplay from Sompal Kami (48) and Dipendra Airee (29) took them to 230.

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