CWC 2019: Gavaskar suggests few changes in India XI
So far so good for India in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 as they registered back to back wins against South Africa and Australia respectively. But unfortunately, the rain has interrupted their next match against New Zealand at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
India and New Zealand are unbeaten in the tournament so far. New Zealand have three wins on the trot which makes them potential contenders for the semis.
New Zealand have a great deal of momentum in going into the match as they have crushed India in the warm-up game. The Men in Blue had no clues but were outsmarted by the Black Caps in all aspects of the game.
Before the game, India have been dealt a massive blow as their key opener Shikhar Dhawan picked up a hairline fracture in his thumb after being hit by a delivery from Pat Cummins during the game against Australia.
Dhawan won’t be playing and India will have to make at least 1 forced change in the playing eleven. Now the southpaw’s absence calls for a reshuffle in the batting order and meanwhile, Sunil Gavaskar, the former Indian cricketer and current commentator reckons that Dhawan’s injury opened up the number four slot and he thinks that Hardik Pandya can be used at that position.
“What Dhawan’s unfortunate injury does is to give India the chance to see who can bat at number four. The start that the openers gave and then Dhawan’s partnership with Kohli meant that Hardik Pandya was promoted to bat at four and what a terrific job he did. So if India are in a similar position then Pandya will once again be the man at four,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for The Times of India.
He also went on to suggest Vijay Shankar’s addition as he has played against the Kiwis previously this year and that he is quite familiar with their attack. Gavaskar also thinks that Kuldeep Yadav can be replaced by Mohammed Shami in case if the conditions are overcast and more suitable to fast-bowling.
“It’s only if the team loses early wickets that Vijay Shankar might get a go. Shankar batted well against the Kiwis in New Zealand earlier in the year and so is familiar with their attack. That should work in his favour,” the 69-year-old added.
“India may also go with Mohammad Shami in place of Kuldeep Yadav in case the conditions are overcast. The way India are playing the opposition won’t matter too much. It’s the conditions they will be concerned about for that’s the one thing that can upset the rhythm and tempo of this hungry unit,” Gavaskar remarked.