With a plethora of cricketers to choose from, the selectors are going to have a hard time (in a good way though) in picking up the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup. At least two individuals are competing for one slot in the team thus selecting a perfect playing XI won’t be easy either. The biggest concern for the Indian management will be to solve the opening conundrum. KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan and even Virat Kohli are in line to accompany Rohit Sharma at the top.
Former Australia spinner Brad Hogg believes that Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will be the ideal opening pair for India in the T20 World Cup. The duo opened together in India’s last T20I series against England.
“My Indian team going into the T20 World Cup would have Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma opening the batting. I might be a bit harsh on Shikhar Dhawan but they need some attacking players in the middle-order and so they need to push Kohli up the order.”
Hogg further named Suryakumar Yadav as India no 3. Suryakumar Yadav had an impressive debut for India and smashed a scintillating half-century. He has also played a pivotal role in Mumbai Indians’ dominance in IPL over the years. Despite his inconsistent form, Hogg added KL Rahul in the middle order.
“I have Suryakumar Yadav, a youngster to international cricket, at No.3. I think his versatility is going to add a bit of spice to that batting line-up. KL Rahul is the prime runner for the No.4 spot,” Brad Hogg asserted.
Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja form a brutal lower middle order in Brad Hogg’s ideal XI. Hogg feels the trio can be destructive and provide a big finish to the Indian innings.
“Coming in at No.5 is Rishabh Pant and I would keep him as a floater. If there is a wicket falling in the seventh over, I would send him up the order at dominate against spin. I would have Hardik Pandya at No.6 and Ravindra Jadeja at No.7.”
Hogg believes that only one between Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal can make it to the Indian playing XI and their performance on the Sri Lanka tour will determine which one of the two gets a nod.
In the pace department, Hogg selected Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur and Jasprit Bumrah. Hogg believes that Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur can be lethal with the new ball due to their ability to swing the ball both ways. Also, Shardul’s ability to hit the ball a long way will be handy for India.
“If Kuldeep Yadav does well in Sri Lanka, having a left-arm wrist-spinner could be a point of difference. But at the moment, Chahal is the number one spinner. Someone like a Thakur could get an opportunity due to his explosive batting and he is also good in the powerplay and at the death. Then you got Bhuvi and then Bumrah,” Brad Hogg signed off.