Sunil Gavaskar had a rather straightforward remark as he talked about the Indian team combination ahead of the semi-final against England on Thursday.
Team India will face England in the all-important clash for a place in the final of the T20 World Cup on Thursday. The Rohit Sharma-led side qualified for the semis after finishing top in Group 2 of the Super 12 stage in the tournament; the winner of the semi-final in Adelaide sets up a Sunday night date with Pakistan in Melbourne. However, India are left with quite some dilemmas as they go into the match on Thursday.
While the ‘Dinesh Karthik vs Rishabh Pant’ debate has been discussed at length, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar also touched upon the concerns around the team combination. On a ground that has relatively shorter boundaries, Gavaskar feels India can also take the field with an extra batter and using Hardik Pandya as the fifth bowler, even if it meant playing Pant and Karthik together.
“Bharatiya team ko apni bowling attack ke baare me thodi zyada soch karni chahiye. Kya 2 spinners ko khilaana chahiye, ya ek spinner ke badle ek aur ballebaaz. Kya Dono Pant aur Karthik khele? 4 par Suryakumar, 5 par Pant, 6 par Pandya, aur 7 par Karthik. Batting lambi kar lein, aur aap Hardik toh bowling karne lage hain, toh unko agar aapne paanchva bowler kar diya toh aapke 5 bowlers honge. (India need to think about their bowling attack. Should they play two spinners, or a batter in place of a spinner. Can Pant and Karthik play together? If they can, Suryakumar can be at 4, Pant at 5, Pandya at 6 and Karthik at 7. You can stretch your batting and Hardik is now bowling, so he can be your fifth bowler),” Gavaskar said on Aaj Tak.
“Ye sochkar lena hai. Ya fir ek extra bowler lena chaahein, kyunki spinner ke liye vo boundaries chhoti hain, toh unko aap chhakka maar sakte hain. Toh uske badle aap agar Harshal Patel ko le lein. (We have to think this through. If you take an extra bowler, you have to consider that the boundaries are short for spinners. You can take Harshal Patel),” Gavaskar further said.
When suggested if Axar Patel could make way for Harshal, the former India captain agreed.
“Bilkul ho sakta hai. Agar aap Axar Patel ko 1-2 over hi de rahe ho, unke poore over hi use nahi kar rahe, fir aap unko kyun le rahe hain? Vo no.7 par batting karke run bhi nahi bana rahe. Vo achhe khilaadi hai, West Indies me achha pradarshan kiya, par aapko unke bowler par bharosa nahi hai, toh aap aise bowler ko lein jispar aap nirbhar reh sakein ki ye hamein 3 ya 4 over zaroor dega. (Definitely. If you’re giving Axar Patel 1-2 overs, can’t use his full overs, then why are we picking him? He isn’t scoring runs at no.7 as well. He’s a good player, he played good in West Indies, but if you can’t trust him with the ball, you should pick a bowler on whom you can depend),” Gavaskar stated.