'He might not give you 70s, 80s or hundreds, but...': Ex-India player throws 22-year-old star's name for T20 World Cup

Published on Aug 05, 2022 10:26 AM IST

Finding the ideal eleven and assigning specific roles to players will be playing on head coach Rahul Dravid's mind, especially when the World T20 is less than three months away.

India's Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli(ANI)
India's Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli(ANI)
By, New Delhi

India have tried multiple opening combinations in the lead-up to this year's World T20 in Australia. The ongoing Twenty20 assignment in West Indies has seen Suryakumar Yadav being promoted to the top alongside Rohit Sharma. While the experiment has been a successful one so far, the opening pair still remains a jigsaw puzzle, with the team management trying seven different duos this year. Also Read | ‘No trip to the Caribbean is complete without a visit to King’s home’: Hardik catches up with ‘brother’ Pollard

Before the Suryakumar-Rohit pair, India in 2022 went with – Rohit Sharma-Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson-Rohit Sharma, Ruturaj Gaikwad-Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda-Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson-Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma-Rishabh Pant.

Finding the ideal eleven and assigning specific roles to players will be playing on Rahul Dravid's mind, especially when the T20 showpiece event is less than three months away. Rohit and KL Rahul are likely the first-choice openers, but former India player Deep Dasgupta has thrown a new name in the opening mix. He feels the selectors should try Prithvi Shaw as a backup opener.

Shaw scored 283 runs in 10 innings at a brilliant strike rate of 152.97 for Delhi Capitals in the 2022 IPL but his last appearance for India came in July 2021 during a T20I against Sri Lanka.

“KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma would be my first choice [for T20 World Cup]. As a third opener, you can look at options like Prithvi Shaw, who has done extremely well in that opener slot and gives you a different skill set. The way he starts, he might not give you 70s, 80s, or hundreds, but he can give you a brisk start,” Dasgupta said in a video shared on YouTube by Crictracker.

“Ishan [Kishan], if you look at the internationals, he’s done alright. He starts well but lost his mojo a bit now in the last few games,” he added.

In the current T20 set-up, Dinesh Karthik has come to the fore, thanks to his quick-fire cameos in the last few overs. The senior batter could even pip Rishabh Pant on the basis of present form but Dasgupta believes India could accommodate three keepers in the eleven, with Rahul as an opener, followed by Pant and Karthik as a middle order player and finisher, respectively.

"There are a lot of wicket-keepers who are also good batters. They can fit into not only as keeper-batters but just as batters. Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik. Some players are still in work-in-progress mode like Jitesh Sharma. He has done well in IPL,” said Dasgupta.

"I think there are quite a few options. I am also looking at them from a batting perspective. In such a case, you play 2-3 wicket-keepers in the playing XI. For example- KL Rahul as an opener, Rishabh Pant in the middle-order and Dinesh Karthik as a finisher."

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