'He is capable of playing big shots; has happy memories at Abu Dhabi': Gavaskar suggests changes in India's Playing XI

Updated on Nov 03, 2021 04:44 PM IST

Sunil Gavaskar shared interesting insights regarding India's bowling and batting options ahead of the do-or-die encounter against Afghanistan at the T20 World Cup.

Virat Kohli's India did not have the kind of start they expected. (Getty)
Virat Kohli's India did not have the kind of start they expected. (Getty)

Ahead of the do-or-die encounter against Afghanistan at the ongoing T20 World Cup, India legend Sunil Gavaskar made some interesting observation about the team's bowling and batting options.  

Gavaskar believes that there is no harm in going into the clash with three spinners and with Hardik Panyda resuming his bowling duties, the Men In Blue now have the luxury to play one less seamer. 

The comments by Gavaskar came while speaking to India Today when he was asked if including R Ashwin in the playing XI will be a right move going into the clash.   

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"There is no harm in thinking of going with three spinners also. And maybe not have somebody like Shardul Thakur or Mohammed Shami. Go in with two seamers and three spinners because if Hardik can come in, you will still have three medium pacers in the team," said the former India captain.    

Gavaskar also noted that despite the lack of left-handers in the Afghanistan line-up, Ashwin can make a difference in the contest considering his wicket-taking abilities. 

"A top-class spinner like R Ashwin, it doesn’t make any difference whether he is bowling to a right-hander or a left-hander,” added Gavaskar.  

India mystery spinner Varun Chakaravarthy(AP)
India mystery spinner Varun Chakaravarthy(AP)

The former cricketer also claimed it would be easy for the Afghanistan batters to decode mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy. He justified his claim by pointing that the team itself “have a plethora of all these mystery spinners” once again making Ashwin a handy pick. 

“Having a look at the number of mystery spinners that Afghanistan themselves have, look at someone like Mujeeb and some of the others who they don’t play in the XI, they have a plethora of all these mystery spinners."

"So it might be easy for them to pick someone like a Varun Chakravarthy. So definitely, I would look at someone like R Ashwin. If at all, they are looking for someone who will slow the pace down, they can look at Rahul Chahar,” concluded Gavaskar.   

WATCH | Captain Kohli & deputy Rohit charge up nets session with electrifying shots ahead of Afghanistan clash

Sharing tips on the batting front that could favour the Men In Blue with the venue change, the ex-cricketer suggested that India should return to Rohit Sharma as opener. He then added if Suryakumar Yadav has recovered from the back spasm, which saw him getting ruled out from the previous contest against New Zealand, then the middle-order batter should return to the playing XI in place of Ishan Kishan. 

“He's (Rohit) will bat at the top of the order it's simple as that. This will help Ishan Kishan if Suryakumar Yadav is not fit still." said Gavaskar.  

“I think it will help Ishan Kishan if he is batting at five or six because that's the situation he'll find himself in. But open with Rohit Sharma. Rohit Sharma is the kind of batsman, once he plays around 15 overs you are pretty much guaranteed to get about 180 to 200.” 

Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya in action. (TWITTER/BCCI)
Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya in action. (TWITTER/BCCI)

Sharing his views of Suryakumar, Gavaskar feels that the batter has had a happy outing in Abu Dhabi, a factor that the team should consider before naming their playing XI. 

"Look at the way he started against Pakistan, with a flick against Shaheen Afridi for a six. So he's capable of playing those big shots and remember he's got very happy memories of the Abu Dhabi ground."  

“So he's got to comeback I know it's hard on young Ishan Kishan but he's got plenty of time ahead of him. And at the moment, Suryakumar Yadav seems a better option than Ishan Kishan,” he said.  


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