Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan (Credits: Twitter)

Former India cricketers Irfan Pathan and Sanjay Manjrekar were involved in an animated exchange over the team combination for next year’s ICC T20 World Cup. With the ODI World Cup done and dusted, the focus is now firmly on the T20 World Cup scheduled to be played in the Caribbeans and the USA in June 2024.

Recent reports suggested that Virat Kohli is unlikely to be a part of India’s contingent for the T20 World Cup. While Rohit Sharma is reportedly set to lead the team, Virat Kohli could miss out. Neither Rohit nor Kohli has played any T20I for Team India since the semifinal loss in the 2022 T20 World Cup.

While it looked like the selectors had moved on from both the senior batters, the situation has changed after the World Cup. Rohit gave India a flying start in most of the games and maintained a strike-rate of more than 125 while hitting a staggering 31 sixes and 66 fours. Kohli, on the other hand, finished the competition as the highest run-scorer but could maintain a strike-rate of only 90.

Irfan Pathan and Sanjay Manjrekar argue over team combination:

While only time will tell who makes it to the India squad for the T20 World Cup, Irfan Pathan and Sanjay Manjrekar have already started talking about it. And recently, they were involved in an argument over the same. Speaking on Star Sports, Sanjay Manjrekar suggested that the return of Rohit and Kohli to T20I cricket should depend entirely on their form in the format.

“We are maybe playing slightly different cricket in the final stages of World Cups. When something goes out of your hand, simplify it. Pick your team based on form close to the World Cup,” said Sanjay Manjrekar.

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“Virat Kohli will have to show that he is a better option than the youngsters who are playing currently, and Rohit Sharma as T20 batter and captain vs Hardik Pandya, the T20 batter, all-rounder and captain,” he added.

Irfan Pathan, however, had a different opinion. Part of the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning team, he cited the example of the inaugural edition of the competition and said that a blend of youth and experience will serve the team well.

“I feel Indian team should combine experience and youth. When we won the last T20 World Cup, in 2007, many said it was a young and inexperienced team that won the title, but that wasn’t it. Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir had been playing for a while then.

“Me and Dhoni were also part of team for almost four years. There was also Ajit Agarkar, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh as well. So you have to combine experience with youth especially for those conditions where batting gets a bit tricky,” said Irfan Pathan.

Sanjay Manjrekar was quick to reply, saying: “I agree with experience but if you remember that T20 World Cup win, it was Joginder Sharma who won that final for us.”

 

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Prince Singh is an Author and Editor at Cricketaddictor. Prince has been associated with the organisation for more than 5 years and in this time period, he has written close to 20000 articles for the website.