The former Indian wicket-keeper batsman Parthiv Patel has picked his playing XI for India’s first game in the T20 World Cup against Pakistan, and he has, surprisingly, left Varun Chakravarthy out of his XI.
Everyone seems to think that Varun Chakravarthy is going to be the X factor for India in this T20 World Cup, but Parthiv Patel has gone with Rahul Chahar as the second spinner, rather than Varun.
Parthiv Patel thinks Hardik Pandya is good enough to be in the XI even if he is not bowling
Also, Parthiv thinks, even if Hardik Pandya doesn’t bowl, he should be picked in the Indian playing XI as a specialist batsman as he is the finisher who will be needed down the order at no. 6.
Parthiv’s view on Hardik Pandya differs from the views of some of the other experts who think if Hardik doesn’t bowl, then it’s better to have a specialist batsman in the XI and go with 6 specialist batsmen.
However, it must be noted that the last two bilateral T20I series that India played against Australia and England respectively, Hardik made match-winning impact as a batsman in three of those games. So, there is no reason why he can’t be considered a specialist batsman even if he is not bowling.
Another slot which Parthiv Patel thinks is debatable is the third seamer’s slot. Parthiv reckons Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are a lock as the first choice fast bowlers in the XI. Now, for the third seamer’s slot, whether the Indian team management goes with Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Shardul Thakur, that remains to be seen.
“Probably Rohit Sharma & KL Rahul to open Virat at No.3, Suryakumar at No.4, Rishabh at No. 5, Hardik – even if he is not bowling, he is picked as someone who can finish the game – Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Shami, Bumrah and the last choice will be between Shardul Thakur and Bhuvneshwar Kumar,” Parthiv Patel said while speaking on a Star Sports show.
Shardul Thakur might have an upper hand for the third seamer’s slot, given the fact that he can also be a good batting option for India at no. 8 and if need arises, he can be sent as a pinch hitter up the order too.
Here is Parthiv’s XI for India’s first game in the T20 World Cup against Pakistan –
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur/Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rahul Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah