File photo of Sunil Gavaskar© AFP

Team India did not get off to an ideal start in the ongoing three-match T20I series against Australia as the hosts failed to defend 208 runs in Mohali, and the bowlers were not able to put up a spirited fighting display. Only Axar Patel managed to take wickets along with being economical. In the first T20I, Jasprit Bumrah did not feature in the playing XI and it needs to be seen whether he comes back directly for the must-win second T20I.

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar feels that not being able to defend totals without Jasprit Bumrah has been India’s problem for long period now, and the management needs to do some course correction.

“This is India’s weakness. This isn’t a new problem. It has existed for a few years now that when they are defending, they find it difficult without Jasprit Bumrah. When Bumrah is there, the score can be defended but without him, they give away even 200-plus totals. Having said that, we need to look at the solution for it. Else, going forward, it may hurt them,” Gavaskar said on Sports Tak after the first T20I between India and Australia.

When asked about his take on Jasprit Bumrah, Gavaskar said: “About his (Bumrah’s) fitness, I feel that since he is such an important member of the team, the team management wants him to be entirely fit and only then he be picked in India’s XI. Maybe he will play in Nagpur.”

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“But here is the thing. When the Indian team is chasing a target, they win matches. But it’s the opposite the other way around. The bowling that is needed between overs 16 and 20, they still don’t have it. This is the reason that team is ending up on the losing side,” he added.

India and Australia will square off in the second T20I on Friday in Nagpur.

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