Kohli, Rahul in great touch at nets; Bumrah, Harshal bowls full throttle ahead of T20I series opener | INDvsAUS

Xtra Time Web Desk: Star Indian batter Virat Kohli looked in ominous touch at the PCA stadium nets, belting the bowlers. Kohli was seen playing some attacking strokes against Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Axar Patel and Yuzuvendra Chahal. Indian vice-captain KL Rahul too looked to shrug off the scrutiny over poor strike rate as he made a conscious effort to play some strokes during the net session. Captain Rohit Sharma took throwdowns against Nuwan Senivaratne and also faced a local left arm spinner.

In fact, all the three openers – KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli batted at the start. Experienced off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and Harshal Patel too was also seen batting in one of the nets. It is unlikely the off spinner will get a chance ahead of left arm spinner Axar Patel.

Axar, who is expected to play a crucial role in the Indian team in the absence of star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, was seen having a lengthy chat with bowling coach Paras Mhambrey as the duo discussed a few technicalities around his bowling.

Returning from a back injury, Jasprit Bumrah bowled full tilt and was seen nailing yorkers against both Rahul and Kohli. He did beat the duo a few times.

Another key bowler who is returning from injury is Harshal Patel. The pacer from Haryana bowled in full rhythm at the nets in last two days.
Towards the end of the net session, Virat Kohli was seen rolling his arms. He bowled at Rishabh Pant, who looks likely to be preferred over Dinesh Karthik. The later did not bat at the nets on Monday.

After watching the two practice sessions, the likely playing XI will be Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzuvendra Chahal.

While the Indian team has prepared well for the series opener against Australia in Mohali, it remains to be seen whether the Men in Blue are able to execute their plans after an early exit from the Asia Cup 2022 as preparations continue for the T20 World Cup 2022, to be held in Australia in October-November.