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'Rohit, Kohli Make India Handicap': Irfan Pathan's 'Bold' Statement Ahead Of T20 WC Clash Vs IRE

Pathan critices Kohli and Rohit [X]
Pathan critices Kohli and Rohit [X]

With the few days remaining for India's T20 World Cup 2024 to start, team management is busy strategising the ideal XI for the opener against Ireland. 

One of the bones of contention for coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma is the opening conundrum, with India selecting Yashasvi Jaiswal in the 15-member squad.

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has words of advice and caution for head coach Dravid, where the 2007 T20 WC-winning player advocated for playing Jaiswal in the XI, while discussing bowling options for the Men in Blue.

India have lately preferred Sharma, and former skipper Virat Kohli as openers, however, in the warm-up against Bangladesh, Sanju Samson opened with the former.

Speaking to Star Sports, Pathan stated that Jaiswal provides Team India with an extra bowling option, given his regular bowling in Rajasthan Royals (RR) nets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. 

Rohit, Virat, or Yadav, can’t bowl, which makes us somewhat handicapped - Irfan Pathan

"Another option for Team India is a young player who bowls in the nets but hasn’t bowled in matches, Yashasvi Jaiswal."

Pathan, further pointed out that with India's top-order batters unable to bowl, the XI is somewhat handicapped, which could be resolved with the RR batter's inclusion.

"If Hardik can give you the option of bowling three to four overs, this problem will be largely solved. Our other batsmen, like Rohit, Virat, or Suryakumar Yadav, can’t bowl, which makes us somewhat handicapped. Ideally, if any of these players could bowl, it would greatly benefit the team."

India have two fast bowling all-rounders in Hardik Pandya, and Shivam Dube, and two spinning all-rounders in Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel in the squad.