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Time To Bring Back Kul-Cha

June 15, 2024 08:51 IST
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IMAGE: Will Captain Rohit Sharma include both Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Sharma against Canada on Saturday? Photograph: BCCI

Having already sealed their place in the Super Eight, in-form India face an inconsequential match against Canada in their final league match in Florida, on Saturday, June 15, 2024.

While weather is set to play a factor, this game could be a perfect opportunity for India to get their struggling players like Virat Kohli back in form, while also trying out some from the bench including Yashasvi Jaiswal, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Sanju Samson.

India battled hard for their first three victories in New York, getting past Pakistan, the USA and Ireland in low-scoring contests on tough pitches.

While the move to switch Kohli as the opener hasn't worked so far, the team management will be looking to give him one final opportunity at the top of the order against Canada ahead of the crucial Super Eight stage as tinkering too much with a winning combination would not be sensible at this stage.

But they would also be wary that it is equally important to give Jaiswal, Samson and Kuldeep some game time incase they are needed to play a role against tougher opponents later on.The T20 World Cup moves to the West Indies for the Super Eight stage followed by the semi-finals and final, and the pitches in the Caribbean are likely to aid spinners.

India would do well to keep wrist spinners Kuldeep and Chahal in the scheme of things by giving them a much-needed outing against Canada.

Shivam Dube got back among the runs with a watchful 31 from 35 balls against the USA as he did well to adapt to the tough conditions by curbing his natural attacking style of batting.

It remains to be seen who among the batters could be given a rest if India decide to include Jaiswal and Samson.

In the bowling department, India are likely to continue with their four-man pace attack in Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh and Hardik Pandya, who have taken 20 wickets between them in the first three games.

Arshdeep and Hardik have both claimed seven wickets each, while Bumrah has been one of the best bowlers in the World Cup with five wickets at an economy rate of just above four, while Siraj has got just one but has been tight with an economy of 5.18.

The most encouraging sign has been Hardik's return to form with the ball. He looks at his best shape fitness wise having bowled his quota of four overs in all three matches as compared to IPL 2024, where he bowled just 36 overs in 14 games across two months.

Spin twins Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja haven't had much to do with the pace bowlers doing most of the damage with the ball. Axar has claimed a wicket in each of the three games while scoring a vital 20 against Pakistan, while Jadeja is yet to score a run and a wicket or hasn't even taken a catch.

India have preferred to play both Axar and Jadeja, both similar style of spinners, for their ability to score some runs lower down the order which is a key requisite in T20 cricket.

It wouldn't do any harm if they are given a break while bringing back the Kul-Cha partnership by including both spinners for the inconsequential Canada game.

Canada are no pushovers. They started brightly scoring a huge 195 against the USA but their bowlers struggled on a flat pitch to lose the match by seven wickets but they bounced back to beat Ireland by 12 runs. They gave Pakistan a run for their money in a low-scoring match in New York before suffering a narrow defeat.

Openers Aaron Johnson and Navneet Dhaliwal have scored a fifty each, while Nicholas Kirton and Shreyas Movva have been quite consistent in the middle order.

Pacer Dillon Heyliger is Canada's leading wicket-taker with five wickets at an economy rate of 5. He along with Jeremy Gordon played a key role in scripting Canada's 12 run against Ireland, their first-ever T20 World Cup victory.

Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (captain), Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Shivam Dube, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj.

Who do you think should be part of the Indian team for the T20 World Cup match against Canada?

Please select your team from the list below and do post your playing XI in the message board below:

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