Virat or Yashasvi in ​​opening, how will Kuldeep be able to fit in, 5 questions in front of Team India

Orhan Wadia
Orhan Wadia - Editor
9 Min Read

New Delhi. The teams that have made it to the Super 8 in the T20 World Cup 2024 have been decided. Teams from India, Australia, South Africa, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, USA, West Indies and England have made it to the final 8 teams. Bangladesh defeated Nepal by 21 runs on Monday to become the second team from Group 'D' to reach the Super 8. In the match, the Bangladeshi team defended the score of 106 runs well and bundled out Nepal for just 85 runs in 19.2 overs. Nazmul Hussain Shanto's team scored 6 points in 4 matches and became the second team from its group to reach the second round after South Africa (8 points).

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These 8 teams that make it to the Super-8 will be divided into two groups of four each. The top 2 teams from both the groups will enter the semi-finals. Talking about Team India, in the Super 8, the 'Rohit Sharma Brigade' will face Afghanistan in Bridgetown on June 20, Bangladesh in North Sound on June 22 and Australia in Grass Islet on June 24.

Out of these, India's record against Afghanistan and Bangladesh has been tremendous. These two teams have not been able to defeat the Indian team in the T20 World Cup so far. However, after entering the Super 8, the matches will become tough and a slight mistake can spoil the game of any team and send it out. The good thing for Team India is that the Super 8 matches have been shifted from America to West Indies. The batsmen of all the teams including India had to struggle on the 'poor' wickets of America, especially New York. Some batsmen got injured due to uneven bounce and due to slow outfield, the boundaries were also less. More or less the wickets are slow in West Indies too, but the situation here is better than America. The matches of Super 8 will start from June 19.

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Before the Super 8 matches, Rohit's team will have to solve some 'puzzles' which could pose a challenge for them.

1. Should Virat continue as opener or should Yashasvi get entry?

In IPL 2024, Virat Kohli scored a lot of runs as an opener and captured the Orange Cap. After this, some former cricketers including Sunil Gavaskar suggested that Virat should open with Rohit. However, this experiment has backfired so far. Only 5 runs have come off Virat's bat in three innings. Every time the team has had a bad start. After Virat's failure as an opener, now there is talk of sending him to number 3. The biggest plus point of Virat coming at number 3 is that if the first wicket falls early, he does not let the run rate fall by playing cricketing strokes instead of 'slog'. Along with this, he also works to improve the innings. The general opinion is that like before, Rohit and Yashasvi Jaiswal should start the innings and Virat should come at number 3. Due to the left-right combination, this pair also becomes a cause of trouble for the opposition bowlers and fielders. For this, it is necessary that Yashasvi is given a place in the playing XI in the Super 8 round.

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2. How to decide the right combination of batsman and bowler
In the group stage matches, the Indian team's strategy looked defensive to a certain extent. In all three matches, the team went with a combination of seven bowlers (including Shivam Dubey). Ravindra Jadeja was already in the team and to strengthen the batting, Akshar Patel was given a place, who also bowls left-arm spin like him. The use of seven bowlers was incomprehensible. Some of them were either not used at all or they bowled only one or two overs. It is important to have an ideal combination of batting and bowling, even if it means giving a place in the playing eleven to a great batsman instead of an all-rounder.

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3. Match winner Kuldeep should be in the playing eleven at all costs

There is a general perception about wrist spinners that they change the course of the match by taking a good number of wickets. It is more difficult for batsmen to face them than traditional spinners. Then Team India has a 'rare' chinaman bowler like Kuldeep Yadav. Despite this, it was surprising that Kuldeep did not get a place in the playing XI so far in the tournament. It was just like not giving a place to strike bowler Jasprit Bumrah in the playing XI to strengthen the batting. In the group stage, the Indian team faced new teams like America and Canada apart from Pakistan, so Kuldeep's absence was not felt, but ignoring this deadly bowler in the Super 8 can prove to be costly. Kuldeep has shown with his performance in the World Cup (ODI) 2023 (15 wickets, economy 4.45) that he is both deadly and economical.

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4. Decide the playing eleven keeping in mind the pitch and the opposition team
Team India management fielded the same playing XI in the first three matches of the tournament but the 11 players in the Super 8 round should be decided keeping in mind the opposition team and the pitch. India has to play its first match against Afghanistan in Bridgetown which is a good batting ground. This is the only 200+ score of the tournament so far, so it would be better to go with three spinners. In the match against Australia at Grass Islet, betting on Kuldeep to curb the aggressive batting of the opposition batsmen can prove to be a 'master stroke'.

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5. Don't hesitate to make tough decisions
The performance of Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammad Siraj in the T20 World Cup is a matter of concern. Jadeja's run and wicket column is empty in three matches. He got a chance to bat only once in three matches and could not open his account, while he did not get any wicket in the total 3 overs bowled in three matches. Similarly, Siraj has been able to take only 1 wicket in 3 matches at an average of 57. In such a situation, playing with a combination of three fast bowlers (Bumrah, Arshdeep and Hardik) and two or three spinners can be a better decision. Playing aggressive cricket with prudence is the mantra of success in T20. For this, one should not refrain from taking tough decisions.

tag: ICC T20 World Cup, Kuldeep Yadav, mohammed siraj, ravindra jadeja, T20 World Cup, Virat Kohli, Yashasvi Jaiswal

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