With the wealth of choices Team India has at its disposal as far as T20I format is concerned, there are at least 2-3 options for all 11 spots currently. While this might appear an envious situation to an outsider, for the selectors it’s a headache – a happy one at that.
There’s a limited number of players they can pick for the upcoming high profile events – Asia Cup and T20 World Cup – the choice further slims down when one has to finalise an ideal playing XI.
In the past couple of months, the Indian team management has gone through a host of players – new and few on the fringes – to try and build a pool from which a solid squad can take shape. But in doing so, they have been presented with the dilemma of whether those who have stepped up and performed when given the opportunities should be rewarded or the established stars who have either been rested or returning from injuries be given back their hard-earned spots.
One of these spots happens to be the second opener who will team up with captain Rohit Sharma. The likes of Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar have been asked to open the innings on different occasions.
These players got the chance with KL Rahul absent owing to fitness concerns. However, he’s back and fully fit so in all likeliness will be the first-choice to partner Rohit at the top.
Former India wicketkeeper and selector Saba Karim thinks so since Rahul also happens to be the vice-captain.
“KL Rahul being the vice-captain, I look at him as an opener with Rohit Sharma. I look at Virat Kohli at number 3 and Suryakumar Yadav at number 4,” Saba said on Sports18’s daily show Sports Over The Top.
Sab though reckons that 4,5,6 shouldn’t be rigid and depending on the match scenarios, players can be promoted or demoted to suit the team’s needs. And he has three names that suit those roles.
“But you know what, 4,5,6 has to be very flexible kind of a position because in a T20 format, you look at 4,5,6 who can finish games for you and can also double up as a power hitter when required, can also stabilise the innings. Those three batters at 4,5,6, my choice would be Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant,” he said.
He continued, “And you can move them around depending on the number of overs you’re left with. But KL Rahul in my opinion, should bat up the order with Rohit Sharma.”