Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Arshdeep Singh might have to replace Shivam Mavi in the second Twenty20 International between India and Sri Lanka on Thursday, January 5, according to Irfan Pathan.

On Tuesday, January 3, in Mumbai, during the opening match of the series, Arshdeep was given his T20I debut because his ailment did not completely heal. The right-arm seamer helped the Men in Blue secure a two-run victory while holding their opponents to a 163-run target by returning figures of 4/22 in his four overs.

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Shivam Mavi
Shivam Mavi (PC-Getty Images)

Arshdeep Singh’s Comeback Will Pose Selection Dilemma For India: Irfan Pathan

When questioned about India’s selection conundrum if Arshdeep is healthy and accessible for the second T20I during a conversation on Star Sports, Irfan Pathan replied:

“It will be extremely unfortunate if Shivam Mavi has to sit out after such a performance if Arshdeep comes back, because what other options do you have?”

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Arshdeep Singh (PC-Getty Images)
Arshdeep Singh (PC-Getty Images)

Irfan Pathan wasn’t certain if the left-arm seamer, who he believes would be a sure inclusion in the XI if ready for selection, could replace whether Umran Malik or Harshal Patel. The former all-rounder from India explained:

“Will you want to make Umran Malik or Harshal Patel sit out because Arshdeep is bowling exceptionally well for the last one to one-and-a-half years? So he will come back in the team as soon as he gets fit.”

In his 21 T20I games, Arshdeep has taken 33 wickets. Along with offering a left-arm angle, the Punjab Kings (PBKS) bowler also possesses the capacity to bowl well during both powerplay and late-inning overs.

Irfan Pathan Feels Shot Selection Needs To Be Improved

Irfan Pathan was also asked what he believed India should do in terms of their batting strategy, to which he responded:

“There has to be a method to the madness. The method is that you don’t lose your wickets in clusters. When you lose wickets in clusters, there are problems. Yes, you need to go with the aggressive approach but when you feel that you have lost two or three wickets, you need a partnership there.”

The former cricket player turned broadcaster stated that the Indian hitters needed to improve their stroke selection and provided the following details:
“So there is a scope for improvement there. If you lose wickets continuously with wrong shots, I feel you will not get to see the big score we talk about. So keeping that in mind, it is extremely important for the shot selection to be improved.”
Deepak Hooda
Deepak Hooda . Pic Credits: Twitter.

In the first T20I match against Sri Lanka, Hardik Pandya and company were once down to 94/5. Their unbroken 68-run sixth-wicket stand between Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel got them out of difficulty and enabled them to achieve a respectable score.

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