'Whether it's Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney...': Noted former cricketers pick India's best XI for T20 World Cup
The multiple team combinations, debuts and changing-chopping… it all comes down to this. The room for experimentation is over as captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid will need to sit down and decide on India's best Playing XI.
With the announcement of India's T20 World Cup squad on Monday, the selectors' headache is over, but the same cannot be said about the team management that will have to get together to discuss the best 11 players that will take the field in Australia as India begin their quest to win a second T20 World Cup Playing XI. The multiple team combinations, debuts and changing-chopping… it all comes down to this. The room for experimentation is over as captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid will need to sit down and decide on India's best Playing XI.
With a little over a month to go for the ICC tournament, a couple of renowned former cricketers, who know what it feels like to win the World Cup, Irfan Pathan and Kris Srikkanth weighed in on the possible team combinations India might go ahead with and predicted their Playing XI for matches against Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa and others if and when they qualify for the next round. Srikkanth went up first, choosing a rather nicely-balanced XI Indian XI and believes this is the combination India should persist with irrespective the venues they are playing at.
“My playing 11, wherever you play, whether you’re playing in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney or Perth, my playing 11 is always fixed. For the first game – KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli - number three, Suryakumar Yadav - number four, number five is Hardik Pandya, number six is Rishabh Pant, number seven - Ashwin, eight - Chahal, 9, 10, 11 – in this particular team will be Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and of course Harshal Patel," Srikkanth, member of India's 1983 World Cup winner, said on the show 'Follow The Blues' on Star Sports.
Irfan on the other hand, a slightly different outlook on who should start in the playing XI for the Indian team ahead of the World Cup. The former India all-rounder, who was part of India's first-ever T20 World Cup win under MS Dhoni in 2007, reckons that for the first match, the management needs to include some of the most experienced players available.
"See, in my opinion, if you're playing the first match, you need to have some experienced bowlers including one spinner. So, from the top, my playing 11 would be - Rohit, KL Rahul, number three – Virat (Kohli), number four - Suryakumar Yadav, number five - Deepak Hooda, number six - Hardik Pandya, number seven - Dinesh Karthik, number eight will be a right arm leg spinner so it would be (Yuzvendra) Chahal, 9 to 11, here there will be Jasprit Bumrah, Harshal Patel and along with that you can go for Bhuvneshwar Kumar," Irfan said on the same show.
"There will be a combination here, three fast bowlers out of which two are quality fast bowlers, who will be able to bowl at the death as well. And I will make sure that I have the combination and the liberty to choose from the three fast bowlers, even Arshdeep (Singh) to handle the death bowling So, in my opinion, in the playing 11, the spinner is clear, it’s just whether I can make space for Arshdeep in the team."
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