Ahead of India’s opening match against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup 2021, former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan has predicted his India playing XI for the Virat Kohli-led side.
India will lock horns with Pakistan in the high-octane clash at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday, October 24.
Starting with the openers, Pathan went with experienced pair of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma. Rahul has been in stellar form, coming off a phenomenal IPL season. He carried his performance in the warm-up game against England with a quick-fire half-century. There were no surprises with Rohit being the other opener.
Further, Pathan picked skipper Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant at Number 3, 4 and 5 respectively. Hardik Pandya at 6, Ravindra Jadeja at 7 are his finishers for the side. Interestingly, he has left out veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who had good outings in the practice-matches against England and Australia.
Coming down to the bowlers, he picked Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami at number 8 and 9, leading the pace attack. The duo of Varun Chakravarthy and Jasprit Bumrah complete Pathan’s India XI.
The 36-year-old also left out wicketkeeper batsman Ishan Kishan, who stared with the willow in warm-up game against England.
Notably, the ICC events are the only opportunity for the arch rivals India and Pakistan to play against each other on a cricket field as the two countries have not played bilateral series since November 2008.
And historically, Pakistan have never tasted success against India either in ODI or T20 World Cup games.
Irfan Pathan’s India playing XI for Pakistan tie:
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah.