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"Rohit, Virat make us handicapped…"- Irfan Pathan gives Indian team reality check before ICC T20 World Cup 2024 opener

Published at :June 3, 2024 at 7:06 PM
Modified at :June 3, 2024 at 7:06 PM
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Irfan Pathan alluded to the lack of bowling options in India’s top four.

Ahead of India’s upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024 match against Ireland on June 5, former all-rounder Irfan Pathan reckons the total lack of bowling contribution from Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav handicaps the side.

India did not give Yashasvi Jaiswal an opportunity to bat in their lone warm-up match against Bangladesh and instead, Sanju Samson opened with skipper Rohit Sharma with Rishabh Pant coming in at number 3, while Kohli was rested as he had arrived in New York only a day before the match. Suryakumar Yadav batted at number four. This is a huge indication that India may open with Rohit and Virat in their first match against Ireland.

Virat, Rohit, Suryakumar can’t bowl and handicap our team: Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan has expressed dissatisfaction with the decision to open with Kohli. The right-hander is coming into the tournament on the back of a successful Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign where he scored 741 runs in 15 innings.

Pathan emphasized a key reason why Jaiswal should not be dropped from the playing XI is that the youngster can bowl part-time spin. The former all-rounder believes that India’s lack of bowling alternatives in the top four affects the combination.

“With the selected team, there can be two combinations. In one combination, you can play with six bowlers, including Axar Patel, to deepen the batting lineup. In the other combination, you can play with four front-line bowlers and expect Shivam Dube and Hardik Pandya to bowl. Another option for Team India is a young player who bowls in the nets but hasn’t bowled in matches, Yashasvi Jaiswal. Shivam Dube also mentioned during the IPL that he has been regularly bowling in the nets, preparing to bowl one or two overs in the World Cup,” Irfan said on Star Sports.

The left-hander also believes that with three right-handers, Kohli, Rohit, and Suryakumar, none of whom bowl, India may be at a disadvantage as the tournament progresses.

“If Hardik can give you the option of bowling three to four overs, this problem will be largely solved. Our other batsmen, like Rohit, Virat, or Suryakumar Yadav, can’t bowl, which makes us somewhat handicapped. Ideally, if any of these players could bowl, it would greatly benefit the team,” Pathan added.

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