NEW DELHI: Rahul Dravid, the head coach of the Indian team, hinted at the possibility of selecting either Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal in the starting lineup for their upcoming T20 World Cup Super Eight encounter against Afghanistan.
The match is scheduled to take place on Thursday in Bridgetown, Barbados, and the conditions at the venue appear to favor the spinners.In their previous matches at the Nassau County Stadium in New York, India had primarily depended on their pace bowling attack due to the inconsistent bounce offered by the drop-in pitches, which proved advantageous for the fast bowlers. However, the conditions in Barbados seem to be more suitable for the inclusion of a wrist spinner in the playing XI.
“It’s tough to leave anyone out. New York had pace bowlers conditions… slightly different. We might need something different here (in Barbados). Yuzi (Chahal) or Kuldeep (Yadav) could be used here,” said Dravid, while interacting with the media on the eve of the Super Eight game.
“We are lucky to have players with all-round abilities. We had eight batters but we (also) had seven bowling options,” he added.
According to PTI, Dravid also mentioned that the Indian team will adapt their batting order based on the circumstances of the match. He emphasised the importance of being versatile and making adjustments as needed.
“Each situation is unique. Can’t set it in stone. I believe in flexibility. The Pakistan game we moved Axar (Patel), specifically thinking around it… Rishabh (Pant) up the order (at No. 3), lots of thinking goes into it. I don’t think in Tests (cricket), we will have that flexibility. In T20s where it is a lot about match-ups, you see it happening more (flexibility in batting position).”
In cricket terminology, a “match-up” refers to a situation where a specific bowler or batter dominates a particular player from the opposing team.
India found themselves in a precarious position at 19/2, with their top batsmen, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, dismissed early in a critical encounter against their arch-rivals, Pakistan.
To counter this setback, the team management made a strategic decision to promote Axar up the batting order to No. 4. In his elevated role, Axar contributed a valuable 20 runs off 18 deliveries, helping to stabilize the Indian innings during the league match.
Dravid also expressed his pleasure in arriving at the West Indies for the Super Eights stage of the tournament.
“Lovely to come to the Caribbean and play cricket. Couple of practice sessions. We are prepared. Afghanistan are a very dangerous side. Their players play more in leagues than our players. They are not a team to be taken lightly. Deservingly in Super 8.”