India are placed fifth in Group 2 with a net run rate of -0.973.
Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt said that Team India should give Ishan Kishan an opportunity in their T20 World Cup match against New Zealand on Sunday, October 31, in Dubai. The left-handed Kishan was going through a lean patch in the 2021 IPL before he found form with knocks of 50 and 84 against Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively.
Thereafter, he scored an unbeaten 46-ball 70 against England in one of the warm-up matches at the ICC Academy Ground in Dubai. Apart from Kishan, Butt also backed Ravi Ashwin to take the field against the Black Caps. Butt reckoned that Ashwin is a versatile cricketer, who brings in utility both with bat and ball.
“I’ve been saying for a long time that Ishan Kishan has been in good form and Team India should utilise him,” Butt was quoted as saying on his official YouTube channel.
“They should also bring in Ravichandran Ashwin, he’s a proper spinner. He is a wicket-taking bowler and his inclusion also increases their batting depth,” he stated.
Salman Butt also backs Shardul Thakur
Butt was also of the opinion that if Hardik Pandya isn’t fit, India should give Shardul Thakur a go in their upcoming contest. Butt said that Thakur is in good enough form and can be a handy addition to the Indian lineup.
“If Hardik Pandya isn’t fit, they should bring in Shardul Thakur because he has been bowling good, and is also contributing efficiently with the bat,” Butt added.
Pandya came into the World Cup, having not bowled a single over for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021. But on Wednesday, he was seen bowling at the nets in Dubai. However, it’s yet not known if he is fit enough to bowl in the matches.
A source earlier said that the national selectors wanted to send Pandya back home, but Team India mentor MS Dhoni vouched for his power-hitting skills in critical times. Former Indian cricketer Sandeep Patil also criticised the selectors for picking Pandya in the squad.
India are currently placed at No.5 in the points table in Group 2 with a net run rate of -0.973. The Men in Blue will also face Scotland, Namibia and Afghanistan in the Super 12s.
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