Out of the many things that went wrong for Team India during their horrendous campaign in the T20 World Cup 2021, one factor which hurt them the most was the lack of all-round options. Though, Hardik Pandya was part of the ‘Men in Blue’ outfit, but his form and fitness turned out to be the biggest setback for India.
Now, with around six months left for the upcoming 2022 edition of the multi-team event, the major talking point would be finding quality all-rounders who can help the side in every possible manner. Speaking about the same, former Indian cricketers Wasim Jaffer and Mohammad Azharuddin have picked their all-rounders for the forthcoming ICC events such as Asia Cup and T20 World Cup 2022.
Jaffer picked Hardik but with the condition that he can bowl to-three overs in every match as there are enough batters in the side already. Then, he went with Ravindra Jadeja as the sure-shot choice before choosing Axar Patel as Jadeja’s backup and Washington Sundar as another off-spinner.
Jaffer also named Deepak Chahar, who would come in as the frontline seamer with good batting skills as well. The Mumbaikar was unsure about the likes of Shardul Thakur, Venkatesh Iyer, Shivam Dube, and Rahul Tewatia.
“Well, It’s going to be an interesting thing, as Hardik Pandya isn’t bowling. The selectors will pick him if he is bowling well and can deliver two-three overs. There are so many batters in the all-rounder’s department. Ravindra Jadeja is a surety, in my opinion. I would pick Axar Patel as a backup for Jadeja,“ said Jaffer, as quoted by CricTracker.
“Shardul Thakur can come in, but I am not too sure. Rahul Tewatia doesn’t bowl in the IPL, and I am not sure about him. Washington Sundar can get a look-in, as he brings another dimension as an off-spinner. On the other hand, Shivam Dube and Venkatesh Iyer hardly bowl in the IPL, and when they do ball, it is not their strongest route. Deepak Chahar, I feel if he is fit and bowling as he has done before, has to come in and is my number one seamer with the new ball,” he added.
Similarly, Azharuddin went with Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja as spin all-rounders. The former India captain picked Hardik, Shardul and Deepak as fast-bowling all-rounders.
“If you’ re going for an off-spinner, he has to be there. Along with the ball, Ashwin has done well with the last few IPL games as well. When you Hardik into your side, you want an all-rounder of his calibre, but is certainly on the back foot with his injury. Along with them, I feel Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur should be there in the team. If talked about spinners, I will choose Ashwin and Jadeja due to their experience,” Azharuddin added.
- Jaffer’s picks: Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel (backup for Jadeja)
- Azharuddin’s picks: Hardik Pandya, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin