NEW DELHI: Scoreboard often reveals what is suggestive and conceals what is vital.
One can safely bet his last shirt that Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad will not open for India when they take on Pakistan in their opening T20 World Cup game at the MCG in the last week of October.
Yet, this series will be the first of its kind indicator of how life without Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli will look as and when the situation arises.
If the first evening is any indicator, the Ruturaj Gaikwads and the Ishan Kishans are ready to shed the archaic style of safety first approach that became India’s undoing during the last global edition.
They showed intent and threw their bats around with Kishan getting a fifty but both looked in some sort of discomfort when Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje were in operation.
In fact, express quick deliveries did create problems and two of the three sixes that Gaikwad hit didn’t look like the controlled ones.
In fact the first over that Kagiso Rabada bowled, it seemed that the ball was hitting the bat rather than bat hitting the ball.
Rabada bowled a touch short of good length at an upward 140 click pace which saw Gaikwad not being able to put bat to ball. When he tried to rush down the track, Rabada would shorten the length and beat him with sheer pace.
Similarly for Kishan, Nortje revved it up and had him and Gaikwad in all sorts of trouble as he seemed even a touch quicker compared to Rabada.
The deliveries that were creating trouble mostly were those which were slightly angled in or straightened after pitching.
The first six that Gaikwad got, he had absolutely no clue as to where the ball went. It was a sharp and quick delivery that got bigger on the CSK star and he was not in control of his hook shot but with today’s bats having sweet spots in edges too, it flew behind square for a six.
In the very next over, Rabada bowled a beautiful Test match delivery that was full and squared up Kishan as he edged one. If it was even an ODI where one keeps a slip stationed for at least 10 overs, it was a regulation catch but T20 gave Kishan the cushion to play through that area even though it wasn’t deliberate.
For Gaikwad and Kishan, it was like waiting for the loose deliveries to come their way and cash in on them. They were successful on the day with Tabraiz Shamsi, Keshav Maharaj and Dwayne Pretorius being the weaker link in the Proteas attack.
It would work on some days but the kind of jitters they showed initially, Rahul Dravid will be thinking thousand times and over again to see if they can consistently marry intent with skill to face high quality quick bowling.

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