Ahead of India’s next match in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021 against New Zealand, many experts have opined for a few changes in Virat Kohli’s playing XI. The ‘Men in Blue’ will take on the Black Caps at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday, October 31.
Notably, India lost their opening game in the multi-team tournament against arch-rivals Pakistan by 10 wickets. After the embarrassing loss, many pundits and fans felt Team India went with a wrong playing XI.
Now, ahead of their battle against Kane Williamson & Co., former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has suggested a couple of changes India should make in the playing XI. Gavaskar felt that star all-rounder Hardik Pandya and senior pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar should be dropped for the do-or-die contest against New Zealand.
The cricketer-turned-commentator asserted that if Hardik is unable to bowl, then he should be replaced by young batting sensation Ishan Kishan. Gavaskar also suggested that Shardul Thakur should be slotted into the playing XI in the place of Bhuvneshwar, who is currently struggling with his form.
“If Hardik Pandya is not bowling – due to that shoulder injury he sustained in the match against Pakistan – Ishan Kishan has been in brilliant form, so I will surely consider him ahead of Pandya,” Gavaskar told Sports Tak.
“And perhaps, you can think of Shardul Thakur in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar,” he added.
Gavaskar further stated that Team India should not go for too many changes as it would leave an impression that the side has panicked only after one defeat in the competition. The 72-year-old felt that if India can win their remaining four fixtures, they could easily book a place in the knockouts and reach even the final.
“If you make changes, it will show that the team has panicked. There is no need to panic because they have a good team. Yes, you’ve lost a match to a good team, but that doesn’t mean that going forward, India won’t win the match or win the tournament. If you win the next four matches, you can make it to the semi-final and, from there, possibly even the final. So, there is no need to make too many changes,” Gavaskar added further.
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