Updated June 3rd, 2024 at 14:53 IST

'Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli can't': Rahul Dravid WARNED over India's biggest handicap in World Cup

Irfan Pathan raises serious concerns about India's significant challenges ahead of the 2024 T20 World Cup, referring to them as "handicapped."

Reported by: Aryan Suraj Chadha
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli shocked | Image:BCCI/Screenshot
Advertisement

In a highly anticipated clash, India will kick off their ICC T20 World Cup campaign against Ireland on June 5 at 8:00 PM. With a dominant win probability India, led by captain Rohit Sharma, boasts a formidable squad including the likes of Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Rishabh Pant. The showdown will take place at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in what promises to be an electrifying Group stage encounter. 

Also Read: Players with the Most Appearances in the ICC T20 World Cup History

Advertisement

Irfan Pathan speaks on Team India’s major area of concern for the T20 World Cup

Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan recently spoke on a persistent problem pointing the Indian cricket team: the lack of true or part-time all-rounders. There have never been any top-order batsmen in the Men in Blue who can contribute with the ball, which has continuously hurt the team. Injuries to Hardik Pandya forced Team India to rely on only five bowling options during the 2023 ODI World Cup. Discussed as India gets ready for the 2024 T20 World Cup is whether to go with three spinners or add Hardik as the fifth bowler to strengthen the batting order.

Advertisement

Shivam Dube showed his bowling ability in a warm-up game against Bangladesh, but it's unclear if this would be an option in the tournament.

Fascinatingly, Yashasvi Jaiswal was noticeably missing from the game, which led to conjecture over his place in the starting lineup. There is thought to be consideration for Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma to begin the batting line-up, with Rishabh Pant maybe moving up to the number three spot.

Advertisement

One of Jaiswal's many strong points is his forceful left-handed batting approach. But Irfan Pathan also brought out the youngster's occasional leg spin bowling skills. Speaking on Star Sports, Irfan Pathan said: 

“With the selected team, there can be two combinations. In one combination, you can play with six bowlers, including Axar Patel, to deepen the batting lineup. In the other combination, you can play with four front-line bowlers and expect Shivam Dube and Hardik Pandya to bowl. Another option for Team India is a young player who bowls in the nets but hasn't bowled in matches, Yashasvi Jaiswal. Shivam Dube also mentioned during the IPL that he has been regularly bowling in the nets, preparing to bowl one or two overs in the World Cup,”

"If Hardik can give you the option of bowling three to four overs, this problem will be largely solved. Our other batsmen, like Rohit, Virat, or Suryakumar Yadav, can't bowl, which makes us somewhat handicapped. Ideally, if any of these players could bowl, it would greatly benefit the team. We talk about Australia, but even England has many all-rounders among their top seven players, including Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, and Will Jacks. It's always better to have more bowling options, and yes, in this scenario, we are definitely handicapped," 

Also Read: T20 World Cup 2024: Namibia defeat Oman in Super Over

Advertisement

Pathan underlined that Team India is disadvantaged when the top-order batters do not contribute bowling. While other teams have players like Mitchell Marsh, Aiden Markram, Will Jacks, and others who can offer bowling alternatives, India has been short in this area for some time. With India vs Ireland slated for June 5, all eyes will be on the India vs Pakistan match on June 9, 2024. 

Advertisement

Published June 3rd, 2024 at 13:16 IST