After the completion of Round 1 in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2022, the focus will shift towards the Super 12 stage, which starts with hosts Australia facing New Zealand at Sydney Cricket Ground on October 22.
Though, the biggest contest will be played on the following day when arch-rivals India and Pakistan lock horns at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. Once again, the Rohit Sharma-led side will enter the contest as favourites, but they won’t take the Men in Green lightly, as Pakistan defeated India in the previous edition of the global showpiece event.
Ahead of the highly-anticipated clash, former India opener Gautam Gambhir has predicted his playing XI of Team India. Starting with the bowling unit, Gambhir stated that the Men in Blue should play three pacers in form of Mohammed Shami, Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh, with all-rounder Hardik Pandya joining them in the middle.
Gambhir opined that Shami should play in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar as he is good in the initial phase and in the death overs as well. The 41-year-old picked Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel as his two spinners.
“India should play 3 pacers. In my view, Shami should play in place of Bhuvneshwar. Arshdeep and Harshal Patel being the two other pacers. Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel as two spinners. Hardik Pandya is the fourth seamer…Shami is good with the ball both at the start and in death. He bowled really well at the death in warm-up match vs Australia,” Gambhir told Zee News.
Coming back to the batting department, it is not hard to predict India’s top order, and Gambhir also went with obvious choices. However, the cricketer-turned-commentator picked Rishabh Pant ahead of Dinesh Karthik stating Karthik’s role as a finisher limits his chances while Pant can be promoted up at the order in case India loses early wickets.
“You don’t pick a batter to play just 10 balls. You pick a batter who can bat for long, and Karthik has not been given that role, or he has not shown the same intentions himself. He only comes to play 3 or 4 overs in the death. But what if India loses a couple of quick wickets? That is when you need Pant as you don’t want to expose Hardik so early,”
Gautam Gambhir’s India XI: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel.