New Delhi: India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be pleased with youngsters Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah for ticking off the boxes in the ongoing Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka.
In the build-up to the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 in March to be held in India, the young duo have been making all the right noises to justify their place in the team. Both Pandya and Bumrah starred for India in the 2nd T20I in Ranchi on Friday to help the side level the series at 1-1.
Pandya who was promoted up the batting order, smashed 27 runs from just 12 deliveries as India posted a mammoth 196/6. Pandya was electric on the field and took a stunning catch to dismiss the in-form Chamara Kapugedera. Pandya's all-round abilities is a big plus for India and he is showing why he can be the answer for India in limited overs cricket in that role.
Pandya has looked to cash in on his experience in the tour of Australia and that has rubbed off on him against the Lankans too. With the Asia Cup coming up followed by the mega World Cup tourney, Pandya looks like to have an important bearing in the shortest format of the game.
Fellow youngster Jasprit Bumrah too has relieved the pressure of Indian death bowling worries as he has excelled in that role against both Australia and Lanka. The youngster was handled the ball in the final overs by Dhoni on Friday and he stepped up by bowling yorkers and full length deliveries that also saw him pick two wickets.
Bumrah fascinated everybody with his skills in the final overs in Australia too where India won the T20I series 3-0. He had picked up six wickets from three matches against the Aussies and created trouble for Aussies with his yorkers. His unusual style of bowling has helped him too.
India have consistently been let down in recent times with the death overs bowling and the way Bumrah has shown his prowess, it has given Dhoni more confidence to try different things.
Their consistency also means that Mohammed Shami may not get a chance in the starting XI as veteran Ashish Nehra too has justified his role as an upfront bowler. It will be tough ask for Shami to replace either Bumrah or Pandya and only depending on circumstances Dhoni may opt for the former.
The skipper has lauded both the youngsters in recent times and if they can continue their hard work consistently then it would help them to cement their places in both the limited overs format of the game.