'Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav make India handicapped': Dravid warned against Jaiswal axe in T20 World Cup | Crickit
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'Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav make India handicapped': Dravid warned against Jaiswal axe in T20 World Cup

Jun 03, 2024 12:48 PM IST

Irfan Pathan is against dropping Yashasvi Jaiswal from the India XI despite what the T20 World Cup warm-up game against Bangladesh might have indicated.

Although India captain Rohit Sharma denied having narrowed in on the team's playing XI for the 2024 T20 World Cup, one thing that the warm-up fixture against Bangladesh on Saturday certainly indicated is that Yashasvi Jaiswal will not feature in the line-up for the campaign opener against Ireland on June 5 in New York. Despite all the talk around the need for a left-right combination at the top of the batting order, Jaiswal was snubbed for Sanju Samson in the match against Bangladesh, thus confirming that Virat Kohli, who missed the match owing to his late arrival in New York, will open with Rohit in the ICC tournament.

India will play their T20 World Cup opener against Ireland on Wednesday
India will play their T20 World Cup opener against Ireland on Wednesday

Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan was always against the move of Kohli opening with Rohit in the World Cup despite the 35-year-old's stellar run in the batting position in IPL 2024, where he won the Orange Cap after scoring 741 runs in 15 innings.

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Speaking to Star Sports, Pathan highlighted a major reason why Jaiswal should not be dropped from the playing XI as he sparked a discussion that had been among the major talking points in the build-up to the 2023 ODI World Cup and after India's loss to Australia in the final. In a message to head coach Rahul Dravid, the former T20 World Cup winner urged that with India not having enough bowling options at their disposal, Jaiswal, who has been a regular bowler in the nets for India and for his IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals, should be picked along with Shivam Dube.

"With the selected team, there can be two combinations. In one combination, you can play with six bowlers, including Axar Patel, to deepen the batting lineup. In the other combination, you can play with four front-line bowlers and expect Shivam Dube and Hardik Pandya to bowl. Another option for Team India is a young player who bowls in the nets but hasn’t bowled in matches, Yashasvi Jaiswal. Shivam Dube also mentioned during the IPL that he has been regularly bowling in the nets, preparing to bowl one or two overs in the World Cup," he said in discussing the possible bowling combinations for Team India.

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"If Hardik can give you the option of bowling three to four overs, this problem will be largely solved. Our other batsmen, like Rohit, Virat, or Suryakumar Yadav, can’t bowl, which makes us somewhat handicapped. Ideally, if any of these players could bowl, it would greatly benefit the team. We talk about Australia, but even England has many all-rounders among their top seven players, including Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, and Will Jacks. It’s always better to have more bowling options, and yes, in this scenario, we are definitely handicapped."

'It's a bit of a weakness for Team India'

Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar, who was part of the panel, highlighted that the lack of all-rounders in the Indian squad remains their only weakness as they head into the World Cup as the favourites to lift their second trophy and first since the inaugural edition in 2007.

"Lack of all-rounders is a bit of a weakness for Team India. If you look at Australia, their batters like Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, and Cameron Green can bowl four overs in a match. I think that’s why the Indian team has brought Shivam Dube into the side to mitigate the limitations that come with a lack of all-rounders. Yes, it’s a small weakness, and now with the impact substitute rule in the IPL, this problem might increase. We currently rely on specialist bowlers and batters, but in this World Cup, the team will need to make some adjustments, and someone will have to bowl at least two to three overs in a match," he explained.

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