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Will India Pick Jaiswal Today?

June 22, 2024 14:19 IST
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IMAGE: Yashasvi Jaiswal's strike rate in T20 Internationals is a whopping 161, with 502 runs in 17 matches. Photograph: BCCI

After their convincing victory Afghanistan, a confident India will aim to continue their winning momentum against a struggling Bangladesh during the T20 World Cup Super 8 match in Antigua, on Saturday.

Even though some of their players are struggling for form, India are motoring along quite smoothly with four wins in the tournament, including their convincing 47 run victory against Afghanistan on Thursday. Another win against Bangladesh on Saturday would take them closer to a place in the semi-finals.

However, the form of two of their most experienced batters -- Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli -- has been a big worry for the Indians going into the business end of the World Cup.

Not only have the two senior pros struggled for runs, but their strike rate has also been woeful on the testing pitches in the USA and West Indies.

Kohli, in particular, favoured as the opener in place of Yashasvi Jaiswal has been very disappointing with just 29 runs from four games at a strike rate of 87. He did manage to spend some time at the wicket against Afghanistan but still could only score a sedate 24 from as many balls before he departed in the ninth over.

On the other hand, young Jaiswal has batted freely across formats in an impressive start to his India career in the last 12 months.

His strike rate in T20 Internationals is a whopping 161, having scored 502 runs in 17 matches, while overall in T20 cricket he has scored 2,757 runs in 98 games at a strike rate of 148.

In IPL 2024 this year, Jaiswal made 435 runs in 15 matches at a strike rate of 155, hitting 64 sixes and 198 boundaries in 279 balls faced in the T20 league.

Similarly, Rohit since his 52 not out in the opening match against Ireland has managed scores of 13, 3 and 8 in the next three games.

India were saved by Suryakumar Yadav's superb innings of 53 from 28 balls against Afghanistan, with Hardik Pandya also contributing with a vital 32 from 24 balls at a crucial juncture.

It remains to be seen if India persist with Kohli at the top of the order despite his forgettable run with the bat or bring in Jaiswal.

Shivam Dube is another one who came in with a big reputation for his big-hitting prowess in the IPL, but has struggled on the testing pitches with 44 runs from four games at a strike rate of 83.

Since Dube hasn't also made a contribution with the ball, his place must be under real threat from Sanju Samson, who can be quite effective against the spinners in the middle overs.

If India have to try out changes in their batting, the struggling Bangladesh is their best chance ahead of the crucial game against Australia.

Another failure from Kohli could be a real blow for not only the senior batter but also for India's gameplan ahead of their crunch match against Australia and also for the semis.

If India replace Dube with Jaiswal, he could come in as opener pushing Kohli down to No. 3, where he has enjoyed a lot of success in ODIs, while Rishabh Pant can move back to No. 5 to provide the flourish at the end.

The bowlers have been the real stars for India in this World Cup. Jasprit Bumrah has led the way with eight wickets in four matches at an economy rate of 3.46, while conceding just four boundaries in 15 overs bowled so far.

Left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh has also proved his mettle with the new ball in helpful conditions to claim 10 wickets in 16 overs bowled in the tournament so far. Hardik Pandya has played a credible job in the middle overs with seven wickets at an economy rate of 5.57.

With India switching to a three-man spin attack for the Super 8s stage in the West Indies, Hardik's role becomes crucial as he plays the role of a third seamer in place of Mohammed Siraj, who has been left out to make way for Kuldeep Yadav.

Playing his first match of the World Cup, Kuldeep excelled against Afghanistan, picking up 2/32, while the two spinners, Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja, have stuck to their role of keeping things tight.

India are likely to continue with the same bowling combination of two pacers plus Hardik along with three specialist spinners.

India have never lost to Bangladesh in four matches played in T20 World Cups and they once again start as the heavy favourites in Saturday's contest.

Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Siraj.

Who do you think should be part of the Indian team for the T20 World Cup Super 8s match against Bangladesh?

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

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