As the T20 World Cup inches closer, all the teams have started pulling up their socks in order to create a perfect squad, that can beat any opposition and so is the case with India. With the exception of a few names, everyone is still vying for a spot in the final 15, but veterans and experts have continued to voice their opinion about the team’s composition and who should be on it, and the latest person to join the bandwagon is Ajay Jadeja.
Even though the former India cricketer didn’t choose the team with absolute certainty, he did make some suggestions about how the Indian team’s starting XI should be arranged for the major competition. India has recently made many changes to its playing combination in order to try out as many players as possible so as to get on a decision for the big event. During the pre-match show on FanCode, before the fifth and ultimate T20I clash between India and West Indies in Florida, Jadeja selected his bowling lineup, which included three pacers and a spinner. Notably, Jadeja chose Mohammed Shami over Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
While the former has not been a part of a T20I match ever since the conclusion of the World Cup 2021, the latter has been the leading wicket-taker during that time. “I have added Shami to the team. So for me, I select bowlers first. So Shami is a certainty. Bumrah, Arshdeep and Chahal. These are the four certainties. In batting, four are certainties for me – Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, and Deepak Hooda. For this bowling attack, you have powerplay, middle overs and death overs sorted. You can bowl them anywhere. Even for the batters, they are flexible,” he said. India has switched from a conservative strategy to a combative brand of cricket under skipper Rohit Sharma in the T20I format. Jadeja brought up India’s new batting approach and suggested that if they stick with it, former India skipper Virat Kohli might be sidelined from the team.
He added that if India chose the MS Dhoni route, the selectors would have to keep Virat Kohli and select Dinesh Karthik for the starting XI as well. “Now if you want to play the way I have heard them…aggressive then you have to pick differently. If Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma walks in, you need Dinesh Karthik at all cost. He is your insurance. But if you don’t have either of them then Dinesh Karthik has no work here. But yes I would not put Karthik there, he can have a seat beside me. He is very good as a commentator,” he explained. “But there, in the team, I would not pick him. Now the decision is whether you want to play Ravindra or Axar. If it’s Dhoni style, then add Kohli, Rohit and Karthik. But in modern-day cricket, you have to leave out Karthik. Maybe even Kohli depends on whether he is in form or not,” he further added.