There is a buzz of excitement in the air ahead of India’s T20 World Cup clash against Pakistan at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. While Pakistan had already announced their Playing 12 a day prior to the high-voltage encounter between the two South Asian countries, India still have a few combinations to figure out and perhaps that is one of the reasons there is still some suspense over who could make it to the India XI for this match.
Among other variables, the sixth bowling option for India has been a talking point. Although a completely fit Hardik Pandya would have made it a no-brainer as he would have been able to do the job for his team both with the bat and ball, his injury concerns mean he has not bowled in recent times.
Despite captain Virat Kohli insisting that Hardik could bowl two overs for his team at some stage in the tournament, it is not clear whether he will be able to bowl in the first match itself. When Rohit Sharma, who captained the team in India’s warm-up fixture against Australia, was asked about the options at the toss, he said that he himself along with Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav could all chip in with a few overs.
In that match, Virat did bowl decently in the two overs that he bowled and now ahead of India’s T20 World Cup opener against Pakistan, even Suryakumar Yadav was seen rolling his arms over at the nets. SKY bowled a few deliveries to none other than Kohli at the nets. Virat was even smashing a few of his balls during practice.
Check out the video here:
— Amanpreet Singh (@AmanPreet0207) October 24, 2021
If this video evidence is anything to go by, in case a regular bowler from the team has a bad day, either Virat Kohli or Surya could be seen bowling to complete his quota. However, in case Hardik has recovered completely, it won’t be an issue at all as he would be chipping in with the ball.
Virat was even used with the ball during India’s last T20 World Cup in 2016 in the semifinal against West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium where the spinners were finding it hard to grip the ball in conditions where a lot of dew had come in. Kohli even scalped a wicket in that match but could not stop the West Indies from crossing the line.