2nd T20I: Upbeat Krunal confident of India’s chances despite Vizag loss
Krunal Pandya was the best spinner from the Vizag T20I. (AFP Image)

India allrounder Krunal Pandya on Tuesday insisted that the team has not lost momentum despite losing the series opener to Australia and instead taken a lot of heart from “almost defending” 126 at Vizag. Krunal was the best spinner during the first ODI in which Jasprit Bumrah bowled brilliantly in his comeback game to take the match into the final over after a pedestrian batting performance.

“It was a great bowling effort. Everyone chipped in and we almost defended the low total. We just have to be more cautious about our batting,” said Krunal ahead of the second and final T20 against Australia here on Wednesday. (READ: India chase series-levelling win against Australia)

“Tomorrow is a very important game as we are 0-1 down but I would not say that we have lost momentum. We lost the other night but we are not losing consecutive games. I am sure we will do well tomorrow,” Krunal said. (READ: Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah on cusp of history)

Krunal has become a regular in the playing eleven in the shortest format ever since making his debut in November. In 10 games, he has taken 11 wickets at 30.00 with a best of 4/36 against Australia in Sydney. He has batted only five times in the 10 games though, scoring 70 runs at 23.33.

Asked if he would like to bat higher up the order than no. 7, where he batted in the last game, Krunal said: “Honestly, I am not thinking about where I want to bat. I am just focused on what is in my hands irrespective of the situation. I want to contribute with both bat and ball.”

Krunal said it would be nice to have some part-time options in the team considering India only played five specialist bowlers in Vizag. “All the five bowlers who played are all quality bowlers. All are match winners on a given day. If you have options it is good but whatever is there we are fine with that,” the allrounder added.

Krunal also praised Australia for their effort on Sunday. “History says they are a competitive side and we know that they will give 100 percent every time they step on the field. We are mindful of that. The wicket looks good here. It will be better than Vizag for sure. So we expect more runs,” he said.

Krunal knows that he may not be in the team’s World Cup plans and despite the focus being on finalising the squad for the 50-over mega event, he said the second T20 is a “very important game”.

Earlier in the day, the Indian team had an extensive training session with skipper Virat Kohli leading from the front. He was the first one to bat in the nets alongside Shikhar Dhawan before they switched to take throwdowns.

Mohammad Shami, Kuldeep Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who were rested for the series and have been training at the National Cricket Academy, joined their teammates briefly in the nets. Shami even had a decent bowling session.

Dhawan was rested from the first game with KL Rahul getting to open alongside Rohit Sharma but from the way the practice session went, there were no indications regarding the opening combination for Wednesday’s game.