Former England spinner Graeme Swann came up with a cheeky take to address India’s problem of plenty in the T20 World Cup year, saying the Asian giants might as well send their ‘B team’ to emerge successful in Australia later this year.
Swann’s comment came at a time when India have to make changes to the XI that defeated England in the first of a 3-match T20I series comprehensively on Thursday, July 7, in Southampton. India hammered Jos Buttler’s side by 50 runs despite not having the likes of Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja in the Xi.
The likes of Kohli, Bumrah, Jadeja and Pant were rested for the first T20I, which got underway a day after the completion of the rescheduled fifth Test in Birmingham.
England vs India, 1st T20I:|
India’s bench strength was on display as Rohit Sharma led a ‘second string’ side that dominated England on Thursday. While captain Rohit set the tone with a quickfire 24, Deepak Hooda, who batted at No. 3, hammered 33 from just 17 balls after which Suryakumar Yadav smashed 39 and Hardik Pandya hit a match-winning fifty.
Notably, Hooda is in terrific form after having scored his maiden T20I hundred in Ireland in June. However, the Baroda all-rounder along with Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar might have to make way for the likes of Kohli and Pant while Jadeja is expected to replace Axar Patel. Shreyas Iyer, who has been part of the limited-overs set-up, is likely to wait for his opportunities.
Arshdeep Singh, who shone on his debut on Thursday picking up 2 wickets and flaunting his swing-bowing skills, will make way for Jasprit Bumrah even as Umran Malik, who made his T20I debut in Ireland, is waiting in the wings.
“India should send their B team to Australia and probably win the World Cup,” Swann told Sony Sports.
The former England spinner said the XI that played against England on Thursday has the potential to beat the hosts again and that changing the winning combination is only good news for Buttler’s men.
“I think it’s a great idea that you bring a load of players in. You got a winning team and completely change that in the 2nd game against England. I would like you to do that, India, please. Because this XI will beat England in 2 day’s time, even if you bring in world-class players like Bumrah, Kohli and Pant, it upsets the balance that has played so well.
“Of course, they will come back into the team because of who they are. But if you are the England team, I would be looking for any way to upset the rhythm,” he added.
‘VIRAT KOHLI SHOULD OPEN’
Meanwhile, Swann suggested that Virat Kohli opens the batting with Rohit Sharma, saying the former captain is not well-suited to playing in the middle overs.
Kohli has been batting at No. 3 for India in T20is but his inability to get going from the word go in the middle-overs has been a cause for concern. The former skipper has been opening the batting for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.
“Virat Kohli comes in, he opens the batting, instead of Kishan. That is what I would do.
“When you have got a player as good as Virat, you don’t want him to bat at No. 3 in the middle overs because he is not scoring as quickly as SKY or Hooda when they first come in because that’s not his game.
“When Rohit is batting so well at the other end, scoring quickly, Virat will follow and do the same thing. Kohli and Sharma score heavily at the top, Hooda and SKY (Suryakumar) can follow suit,” Swann added.
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