DUAL INTERVIEW with Prithvi and Shebas – 7
Jay – Thank you for your participation in this dual interview, what do you make of the recently concluded ODI series between Australia and India?
Prithvi – Good to see ODI Cricket back after a long time. Unfortunately, the results didn’t go our way but it was good to see a high scoring series.
Shebas – First of all, thanks again for choosing me, I waited for this series since many months, this was our first international cricket series after the covid-19 pandemic, also I guess the first series with spectators in the stadium. Though results were not in our side, But thoroughly enjoyed all matches.
Jay – Let’s talk about India’s issues starting with the bat, your thoughts on this approach by the Indian team in the One-Day format?
Prithvi – We did come out all guns blazing in the first ODI, even Virat Kohli came out with some intent which was evident from his approach against Hazlewood and Cummins in Powerplay. Had we got good starts from openers then the approach would have been totally different from middle-order batsmen.
Shebas – We batted very well throughout the series and scored 300+ in all 3 ODI’s, earlier India failed to build upon success because of our team’s weak middle order. Now that problem was solved as KL/Hardik/Jaddu all did their role very well at middle-order. The opening looks a little bit weak, with Rohit back in the squad that problem also will be solved.
Jay – Do you have confidence with this bowling line-up, which is without Bhuvneshwar Kumar, to do well outside India in One-Day format?
Prithvi – Bumrah is having a bad year in ODI’s, he hasn’t been the same since his injury. 5 consecutive ODI’s our bowlers went wicketless in Powerplay. is a worrying sign. Saini is new, and Hardik isn’t bowling. Once, all these things fall in place I believe there is not much to worry. Also, spinners had a horrid time because of the wickets at SCG.
Shebas – By looking at the previous 3 ODI Series performance, it’s Definitely No! We missed services of Bhuvi, he can trouble opponents with his variations, he is a brilliant bowler be it in the powerplay, middle or death overs. Though he doesn’t have the speed he reads the situation very well and bowls accordingly.
Jay – Talk about the importance of Hardik Pandya at number 6 position for Team India, how crucial he is with the bat and ball?
Prithvi – As I mentioned above, his bowling is crucial for our team combination. Number 6 is a very important and difficult place to bat and he has shown he can bat sensibly as well as hit big at the death.
Shebas – Hardik Pandya is an all-round package, He will give 100% in all departments. When Dhoni took retirement and Pant was not part of the squad, the Indian team lacked firepower in the middle order. So at this stage, Hardik’s role with the bat is so much more important to the Indian Side. Moreover, he can change the match with both bat and ball.
Jay – Did you feel Virat Kohli was trying a bit too hard in this series with the bat even though he has two half-centuries?
Prithvi – For first ODI it was needed, second and third ODI he anchored well but got out without converting it into a big one. He can play the catch-up game well in last 10 overs.
Shebas – He is one of the best batsmen, in each and every series he has broken record after records. All I can say is that Virat Kohli batted well, he is second in top run-scorers for India in this series, just that he is not able to convert those runs into big ones. It’s a rare failure for him.
Jay – David Warner and Aaron Finch have been a headache for India, they did a brilliant job as openers for Australia, few words on their batting?
Prithvi – Since the World Cup, they have some 8 or 9 100 run stands between them across formats. They are a big force at the top and can really hurt you if u don’t get them early.
Shebas – Right now both are one of the most devastating opening pair in limited-overs cricket. Both are capable of making big innings. In the start, Warner used to be more consistent than his partner but now Finch too is playing well, equal to his partner since he became the captain of the Australian team.
Jay – Steven Smith continues to shine with the bat and this time he is doing it with the white ball too, few words on him and his batting this series?
Prithvi – He has always been a decent white-ball batsman. His stats at number 3 position are good. He said he had found his hands before the first ODI and backed his claim with two outstanding knocks.
Shebas – Comparing to other teams against India, Smith had a decent record In ODI format. But in this series, he was just unstoppable, by scoring successive 62 balls century he made those numbers much better. He used to struggle a bit against bouncers and short balls, though our Indian bowlers hadn’t tried anything in this series. Now It’s going to be tough for India to stop him in his favourite format.
Jay – Maxwell was a different player for Australia as compared to IPL, what clicked for him this series in your view?
Prithvi – Honestly, even I am searching for this answer. A lot of people blamed his stance during IPL but he is getting runs with the same technique.
Shebas – Finishing the game for your team is one of the most challenging tasks for anyone, Which Maxwell did Brilliantly in all 3 ODI’s. A few days back, He was heavily criticised for his IPL performance. Even he too disappointed with his performance and promised he will bounce back in IPL, all I can say is be it ODI or IPL, but on his day, Maxwell can destroy any good bowling attack.
Jay – The spin duo of Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar have been mighty impressive for Australia, how well have they bowled in your view?
Prithvi – Ashton agar has impressed me a lot with his bowling in T20s and wasn’t surprised to see him bowl that way in last ODI.
Shebas – Aussies are known for their pace attack, Now in the current squad, they have some quality spinners too. Adam Zampa who has been their strike weapon in limited-overs format is a wicket-taker who can spin the ball in both directions. Whereas Agar who is brilliant with both bat and ball. He can bowl six slightly different balls and Slower balls in one over. Both combined bowled well throughout this series.
Jay – For Australia, Starc’s form seems to be a concern for them, what’s wrong with his bowling in your opinion?
Prithvi – Conditions weren’t suitable for anyone at SCG. And Dhawan always takes on him. He has been relatively poor in ODI’s except for those two World Cups (2015 and 2019). Also the change in action isn’t working well for him.
Shebas – When Starc starts getting reverse swing with the ball. At his pace, each of his deliveries too difficult to handle by any batsman because he has both swing and pace. Few months back he had undergone a change in his bowling action. That’s the reason he isn’t getting the swing and old pace.
Jay – Josh Hazlewood would feel unlucky having been left out from the World Cup squad, but since then he has performed well for Australia, your thoughts?
Prithvi – He would have been a much better choice than NCN. He always bowls well in PP and now has improved in middle overs as well.
Shebas– He is one of the most underrated bowlers, he was just overshadowed by Starc & Cummins in the Australian squad. His bowling stats are outstanding, even better than many great bowlers. He has both line and length, also he reads the batsman clearly. Behind the selection of Worldcup, he recovered from an injury and played less ODI’s before the start of Worldcup, that’s the reason I can say he was not part of the squad.
Jay – Who performed the best with the bat and ball this series?
Prithvi – Steven Smith and Josh Hazlewood.
Shebas – Glenn Maxwell and Josh Hazlewood. Both are consistent and gave their best in all three ODI’s
Jay – Do you think T20 will go the same way, that is Australia winning 2-1 or can India comeback with a series win in the shortest format of the game?
Prithvi – 3-0 to India. We are a much better side than them. But if Bumrah, KL Rahul, and other guys opt to play the practice game then Australia has a chance.
Shebas – We are good in T20Is, recently we whitewashed NZ in their home. Moreover, we have won a T20I Series in all SENA nations. Hopefully, we will make a good comeback and will win the series. Fingers crossed.