Ravi Bishnoi, Zaheer Khan
Ravi Bishnoi (Image Credits: Twitter)

Former India National Cricket Team pacer Zaheer Khan and wicketkeeper-batter Parthiv Patel have called for the selection of the young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi over the senior left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav in the T20I series against South Africa National Cricket Team.

The BCCI selection committee has included 4 spin-bowling options in the T20I squad for the series against South Africa with Ravindra Jadeja and Washington Sundar being spin-bowling all-rounders and Ravi Bishnoi and Kuldeep Yadav being the frontline spinners.

Two of the aforementioned names are likely to walk into India’s playing XI with Jadeja being a sure-shot pick as he is the vice-captain of the team. The battle is between Kuldeep Yadav and Ravi Bishnoi for a spot in the team and it will be difficult for the team management to pick between them.

Kuldeep Yadav has completely transformed himself in the last one year and has delivered match-winning performances for the side. On the other hand, Ravi Bishnoi recently won the Player of the Series award against Australia and became the No.1 ranked T20I bowler.

In an interaction on Cricbuzz, Zaheer Khan backed the selection of Bishnoi. He reasoned:

“Ravi Bishnoi is someone who they should continue with because that gives you flexibility as well. He bowls in the powerplay. If you go for Kuldeep, he doesn’t bowl in the powerplay. So, that should be the thought process there.”

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Parthiv Patel was on the same page as well and he also called for Bishnoi’s inclusion in the playing XI. He said:

“After the last series, if you don’t play Ravi Bishnoi, that means you are taking out both the bowlers who bowled four overs in the powerplay. 

“That’s where continuity makes a big difference, especially to a young player who’s had a good series. If you give him that continuity, that confidence grows, and a wrist-spinner needs that confidence. We all know how well Kuldeep Yadav has bowled in the recent past. So, there is nothing new to see.”

Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill will start – Zaheer Khan

The Indian bowling legend further talked about India’s playing XI for the second T20I against South Africa and said that Yashasvi Jaiswal will open with Shubman Gill, leaving no place for Ruturaj Gaikwad in the playing XI. Zaheer Khan said:

“Looking at the continuity and whatever we’ve been seeing, I think Ruturaj Gaikwad might miss out. Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill will start. Shreyas Iyer possibly will be coming at No. 3, and then Suryakumar Yadav Yadav.”

“You’ll have to see whether Tilak Varma is going to come in or not at No. 5. You will definitely need a keeper, so Jitesh Sharma possibly will take that spot. You have Rinku Singh at No. 6 followed by the five bowlers.”

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The first match of the three-match T20I series got washed out due to rain and now the Men In Blue and the Proteas will lock horns on December 12 and 14 in Gqeberha and Johannesburg.

Sonanchal Gautam is the Assistant Content Manager at Cricketaddictor. He is a professional Wrestling and Hip-hop enthusiast.