Former Pakistan player Salman Butt explained that it would be better if India utilized in-form Ishan Kishan instead of Suryakumar Yadav, who is going through a lean patch. Kishan’s inclusion will also give a much-needed variety in a batting lineup primarily dominated by right-handers.
Heading into the T20 World Cup, a sudden dip in Suryakumar’s form posed some concerns for the Indian team. Speaking about the possible changes in the team ahead of the match against New Zealand, Butt said:
“Ishan Kishan is in great form and India should play him. Suryakumar Yadav is also a very good player, no doubt about that. However, you utilize those players who are in better form.”
“Players who are confident give you more because they have runs under their belt. The player whose confidence level is down is not a lesser cricketer. But you select those players who are likely to be more useful in a game.”
“If Hardik Pandya isn’t fit to bowl, India can opt for Shardul Thakur” – Salman Butt
Salman Butt also reckoned that an unfit Hardik Pandya who cannot bowl should definitely be replaced by Shardul Thakur. The 29-year-old CSK bowling all-rounder has proven worthy with the ball of late, and can also play as a finisher with the bat.
“Strategically, it will be better. Pandya is a capable all-rounder. I saw him play some very good knocks in Australia, but the guy is not fit. In such a scenario, you ensure not to put too much pressure on your problem areas. And so your (bowling) action is not complete.”
“This affects your output and speed because you are trying to be more careful not to hurt yourself again. There are mental barriers until you are 100% fit. So if Pandya is not completely fit to bowl, India can opt for Shardul Thakur and there is Rahul Chahar and Ravichandran Ashwin as well,” Butt added.
India will take on New Zealand in a virtual knockout match on October 31, Sunday. A loss in that game could spell an early exit for Virat Kohli and co.