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EXCLUSIVE: Rohit-Kohli open, play Jadeja, Axar & Kuldeep: Rayudu names ideal India XI

EXCLUSIVE: Rohit-Kohli open, play Jadeja, Axar & Kuldeep: Rayudu names ideal India XI

While India's opening T20 World Cup 2024 match is less than 24 hours away, there are still various options that India can go ahead with as their is no fixed 'Best' XI thus far.

As Team India braces to end their ICC trophy drought, the burning question on every fan’s mind is with which 11 players India should take field when they face the Irish challenge in New York on June 5. Former Indian batsman Ambati Rayudu has waded into the discussion, proposing a lineup that’s both audacious and calculated in an exclusive talk with InsideSport, arranged by Disney+ Hotstar.

Rohit Kohli back at top & slot both Samson, Pant?

Rayudu’s strategy hinges on a critical decision at the top of the order. He proposes reuniting the experienced opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. This move means no space for young gun Yashasvi Jaiswal, who didn’t get game time during the Bangladesh warmup as well. While Jaiswal has shown his brilliance, Rayudu seems to enjoy the prospect of lengthen the Indian batting.

A surprising call made by Rayudu was to include India’s both designated wicket-keepers in Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant. While most of the fans and pundit might opt to choose only one, the multiple-time IPL winner thinks that both Samson and Pant are needed in the playing XI, with the former even slotting at number three.

Yeah, looking at the conditions, I feel we should pick both of them (Sanju and Pant). Sanju because he has been batting brilliantly at three and Surya (Suryakumar). So, according to the over number, you can send whoever is apt for that moment. But definitely you can go in with Virat and Rohit to open Sanju at three and Surya at four and Rishabh at five, Hardik at six,” Rayudu said in an exclusive chat with InsideSport, arranged by Disney+ Hotstar.

All three of Jadeja, Axar and Kuldeep, reckons Rayudu

The conditions in USA haven’t been as conducive to run-making as it was during the IPL. It was only yesterday when we saw South Africa bundle Sri Lanka out for their lowest-ever T20I total of 77 runs. The Protea unit even found it difficult to chase the paltry total down, with taking 98 balls to reach the target. The sluggish conditions and the view of reducing a long tail for India prompts Rayudu to fit in both Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel.

Then Jadeja and Axar. So, I feel this will give you balance both in terms of batting as well as bowling. So, you have batting till 8 and Kuldeep also can bat a bit. But batting till 8 is a superb line-up to have. I think that will be my combination at least. Yeah, I think I would go with two pacers in terms of Arshdeep Singh and Jasprit Bumrah and third being Hardik and definitely three spinners, two being all-rounders in terms of Jadeja and Axar and the third one will be Kuldeep, said Ambati Rayudu, who is an expert on Caught and Bold show on Disney+ Hotstar.

This selection, however, comes at a cost. Mohammed Siraj, a great new-ball pacer, finds himself on the bench. Shivam Dube, another player who offers medium pace along with his impeccable power-hitting, also misses out. The exclusion of Yuzvendra Chahal and Yashasvi Jaiswal might turn into reality soon though.

The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is streaming LIVE and FREE on mobile on Disney+ Hotstar.

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