Inia’s world cup campaign commenced on Sunday against their arch-nemesis in what was rated as a high-octane encounter. However, what transpired was an underwhelming and disappointing outing by the Indian unit. India was handed a 10-wicket loss by their neighbors. The nature of the loss has been very difficult for Indian cricket fans to accept. On paper, it looked like India’s strongest squad but India was outplayed in every department by the opposition. It was as if the real Indian team never showed up. There is no doubt that Pakistan was thoroughly clinical in its performance.
India will be playing New Zealand in their second match of the world cup. The match is to take place on Sunday and the situation is such that it has turned out to be virtually a quarterfinal. The winner stays on in the world cup. India’s batting, in the first match, crumbled to fast swing bowling. Most batsmen failed to get going and accelerate. The bowlers looked unthreatening throughout the match and not one ball seemed like it was troubling the batsman or could produce a wicket.
Therefore, India will most likely have to make a few changes to their line-up before the next game. We look at 5 changes India can consider making.
1. Ishan Kishan for KL Rahul
India opened with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. We lost Sharma for a golden duck in the first over. In Shaheen Afridi’s second over, KL was bowled and he could only manage 3 runs of 8 balls. India could look to open with Ishan and Rohit. Ishan is a young and aggressive player at the top of the order and his performances in the last few IPL games and warm-up games have been commendable. His partnership with Sharma could be a game-changer.
2. Shardul Thakur for Hardik Pandya
With Pandya nursing a vulnerable back, his bowling is restricted. In Sunday’s match, he played as a specialist batsman. He had a blow on his shoulder and looked in pain. In his short stay, he could manage only 11 runs. He attempted going big in the death overs but he could not connect. Thakur could be a prospective replacement. His batting has improved tremendously and he is a handy bowler as well.
3. Shardul Thakur for Bhuvneshwar Kumar
The Indian bowling line-up had a nightmarish game. However, the pacers in particular seemed out of their depth. The pace trio who are famed for their T20 bowling could create no moments in the game that inspired. Bhuvi had a terrible off day and in his 3 overs, he went for none 25. His form in the IPL was also worrisome. Thakur as Bhuvi’s replacement could also be considered considering Thakur is a genuine swing bowling pacer. He is known to break partnerships and create moments when not much is happening on the field.
4. Ravichandran Ashwin for Varun Chakravarthy
India chose to go with Jaddu and Chakravarthy as their spin duo for the match. This side has plenty of spin options and therefore, this selection may have been a tough call. However, Varun in his 4 overs went for 33 and in the last half he was plundered for multiple 6s. Ashwin could replace him in the playing eleven. Ashwin’s strategic thinking, smart cricketing brain, and years of experience can change the deal for India.
5. Ishan Kishan for Suryakumar Yadav
India had a disastrous outing in the game because India’s middle order failed to click and fire. Kohli was the only man batting but got no support. The middle-order burden fell squarely on Surya and he could manage only 11 from 8 in a troubled stay at the crease. India can try and play Kishan instead of him and see how he performs. A left-right combination with Kohli could also spice things up for India.