IND vs USA: Time for Team India to test bench strength against USA?

IND vs USA: Time for Team India to test bench strength against USA?

With India facing USA and Canada in next two matches of T20 World Cup and qualification for Super 8 all but guaranteed, will Team India look Sanju Samson, Yashasvi Jaiswal or Kuldeep Yadav?

India Cricket Team are on a fantastic start with two wins from two matches with the last one coming against Pakistan against all odds. Rohit Sharma & Co are a confident unit ahead of IND vs USA T20 World Cup Group A clash. But with the Caribbean leg coming up in Super 8, would India shuffle the squad to keep the team fresh?

The way things have gone, not much needs to change. Yes, Virat Kohli and Shivam Dube have failed to fire apart from Suryakumar Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja.

But Virat Kohli is undroppable and so is Suryakumar Yadav in T20Is. That leaves room for Shivam Dube, who has had a dip in form since his call-up to the T20 World Cup squad. There is also Sanju Samson who is warming the bench after failing in the warm-up. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are yet to get a game because the New York pitch has been conducive to pace.

Should India test bench?

The players hardly have had any rest in the last two and half months due to IPL 2024. After a gruelling IPL season, they headed straight to New York with 4-5 days of rest. In the meantime, Indian players had to acclimatise to the conditions as well as the time difference between India and New York.

With India all but qualified for the Super 8 stage, IND vs USA and India vs Canada will be two games to warm up before the Super 8. And it will be a good opportunity to try out the bench strength.

However, the only concern could be the USA’s form. They have beaten Pakistan and Canada to put one foot in the Super 8 stage in their debut tournament. India would not take the hosts lightly and could go full-strength without testing the bench.

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Sanju Samson for Shivam Dube?

On the other hand, there is a case to drop Shivam Dube. Chennai Super Kings’s Impact Sub has failed to make any impact with the bat so far in the T20 World Cup. He has had scores of 14, 0 and 3 in New York including the warm-up.

Even though he bowled in the warm-up clash against Bangladesh with 2/13 in three, Rohit Sharma hasn’t called him up to bowl in the main tournament. He has been lacklustre on the field, including a dropped catch against Pakistan.

More on T20 World Cup

That makes a case for Sanju Samson in IND vs USA as well. Yes, Samson too failed in the warm-up, opening the batting. But before the Caribbean leg of the T20 World Cup, Team India could give him another go. Sanju Samson was in superb form in IPL, scoring 531 runs in 15 innings at a strike rate of 153.46.

There is also Yashasvi Jaiswal who can take up the opening slot, giving Virat Kohli back his No 3 slot. So far, the Kohli-Rohit pair hasn’t worked in the opening, accumulating 22 and 12, respectively in two matches.

What about bowling?

There could be an argument to make that Jasprit Bumrah should rest in IND vs USA clash. However, with him in superb form, that may not be the case. With two consecutive Player of the Match awards, Bumrah has practically led the team out of trouble.

With Rohit Sharma using four pacers including Hardik Pandya, there is no place for a spinner. Only if Rahul Dravid takes the bold call to drop Ravindra Jadeja to the bench, could India accommodate Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal. However, that is unlikely to happen in New York for IND vs USA. The spinners will come into the picture in the West Indies at the expense of Mohd Siraj or Arshdeep Singh.

India Squad for T20 World Cup 2024


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