India batting legend Sachin Tendulkar has stressed the need for the Men in Blue side to include a left-handed batter in their playing XI ahead of the crunch India vs Pakistan tie in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2022 which will be played on October 23rd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
With Shikhar Dhawan out of the picture in the T20I format and the failure of Rishabh Pant to cement his spot in the T20Is, India is lacking a left-handed batter in the first six of their playing XI with Axar Patel being the all-rounder, who bats lefty.
India started their T20 World Cup 2022 campaign with a win over Australia in the first of their two warm-up matches which will be played at the Gabba in Brisbane. With Dinesh Karthik playing the role of finisher, India has not been able to accommodate Rishabh Pant in the XI.
Even when given a chance to open for India, Pant has not been able to grab that chance, including in the two practice matches against Western Australia.
Left-Handers Without Any Doubt Add In Value: Sachin Tendulkar
In 15 innings since June this year, Pant has averaged only 23 in T20Is, with a highest score of 44. Of late, intense competition in the middle order and a lack of runs from him have led to questions about Pant’s place in India’s T20I side.
Speaking to PTI after the Indians’ six-run win over the Australians in a warm-up game in Brisbane, Tendulkar said, “Left-handers without any doubt add in value, and bowlers have to adjust, fielders have to adjust, and if they are able to rotate strike consistently, it is not something that the bowler enjoys.
Look, I wouldn’t go by just the [top] three. You always play as a unit and one should see what works well. You can’t go by top two or top three. As a unit, what you have is important and then to figure out whom to send at what position, and also check what is the opposition’s strength.”
Meanwhile, before facing Pakistan, India will clash with New Zealand in their second warmup match on October 19. New Zealand lost to South Africa in their warmup tie after being bowled out for 98 runs.