The Men in Blue began their penultimate leg of their dress rehearsals for the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 on Tuesday. Rohit Sharma and Co square off against Aaron Finch-led Australia in the series opener of the three-match T20I series at Mohali’s Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium.
Skipper Rohit Sharma however, revealed that India will be without pacer Jasprit Bumrah and wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant for the opening tie. Taking a cue from India’s tactical changes for the 1st T20I, legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar admitted that India will miss the services of both players.
Having Jasprit Bumrah fit for the T20 World Cup is a priority, reckons Sunil Gavaskar
Gavaskar told Star Sports after Australia won the toss and opted to field, “Well, I think these 6 matches which are there – they are gonna try and get an understanding of what makes them stick together as a team and of course, the absence of Bumrah is gonna be big.”
“But I think it’s important for India to have a fully fit Bumrah for the World Cup, that’s the big picture. We always try to look at the bigger picture, and the bigger picture is the World Cup. So I think trying to keep him fit is really important,” he added.
Sunil Gavaskar is optimistic Rishabh Pant will feature later in the series
Echoing his thoughts on Rishabh Pant’s omission, Sunil Gavaskar asserted that the star wicketkeeper will get a chance in the remainder of the series. Gavaskar opined the Indian think-tank will provide Pant and Dinesh Karthik equal opportunities to showcase their batting exploits in the T20I series against Australia and South Africa ahead of the T20 World Cup.
“As far as Pant is concerned, he will get to play in the remaining five matches. My feeling is – probably try and split it between both the wicketkeepers and give themselves an opportunity to show what they can do with the bat as finishers as well. Let’s not bring too much into the fact that Pant is not picked in the team, I think they are trying to, as I said earlier – get their core team together (for the World Cup) and that’s why they have picked this team,” Gavaskar added.