India's bowling unit has come in some serious flak after their below-par performance resulted in Australia chasing a target of 209 in the T20I series opener at Mohali on Tuesday.
However, on the eve of the second T20I of the three-match series that will be played at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium at Jamtha near here on Friday, middle-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav came out in support of the bowlers.
Yadav said a lot of factors played their role in the match on Tuesday. "You will have to consider things like the match into the final over, there was dew (that played a role) and credit should also go to the Australian batters as they kept attacking from the start, Harshal is coming back from an injury, so we have to cut him some slack. We are trying out best," said Suryakumar Yadav ahead of Friday's 2nd T20I at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium here.
He denied that opposition batters are easily picking Harshal Patel's off-cutters and claimed seasoned pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was as deceptive and effective as ever.
On Tuesday, the batters, particularly KL Rahul (55), Suryakumar Yadav (46) and Hardik Pandya (71 not out) had done a great job by propelling the team to a big total of 208/6 in 20 overs.
After Australia made a good start thanks to Cameron Green (61 off 30), Umesh Yadav claimed two wickets in an over to peg the visitors back at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali. Australia at one time were 146/5 in the 16th over.
India, however, lost their way as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel, among themselves, conceded 53 runs in three overs (17th, 18th and 19th of the innings) -- carted around by Matthew Wade and Tim David -- as Australia won the match by four wickets.
Asked whether opposition batters have started reading Harshal Patel's off-cutters and thus managing to score against him, Yadav said Patel is very deceptive and difficult to read.
"I don't bat for a long time in the nets as I do my own thing separately. But from what I know, he is very deceptive and difficult to read. As is the case with Bhuvi. He is so senior and has been there for many years, but still, his cutters, slower balls, and other variations are very difficult to read," Suryakuamr Yadav told the virtual pre-match press conference on Thursday.
Acknowledging that he is not the right person to comment on the fitness and availability of senior bowler Jasprit Bumrah, Yadav said as per his knowledge everyone in the team is fit and available to play.
He said the team has not done a postortem of the first T20I but said they were trying to improve.