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Choice headache on nightmare New York pitch

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After poor New York pitch gave nightmares to batters, Rohit Sharma will face robust selections to line up in IND vs PAK T20 World Cup conflict on Sunday.

“Quite unsure of what to expect from the pitch,” Rohit Sharma offered a blunt response when he was asked about the New York pitch after retiring hurt with an elbow injury in IND vs IRE T20 World Cup clash. Indian bowlers took full advantage of the horrific pitch, bowling them out for 96. But Pakistan are not Ireland. They have some of the lethal fast bowlers in Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Mohd Amir and Abbas Afridi. Against such a high-pace attack and a fragile batting line-up that struggle against spin and slow pace, Rohit Sharma will be scratching his head on how prepare India Playing XI for IND vs PAK clash.

Rohit Sharma is facing the possibility of a 4-prong pace attack from Pakistan with two pacers who can bowl at 150+ consistently. Indian batters will have to play against the pace attack as well as the uneven New York pitch where scoring is as difficult as summiting Mount Everest. Batters don’t know what to expect and the pitch can fool them at any time. How does Rohit Sharma pick India Playing XI for that in India vs Pakistan clash?

Go with a full-pace attack

Against Ireland, Rohit Sharma picked all available pacers, benching an in-form leg-spinner Kuldeep Yadav from India Playing XI. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Arshdeep Singh were the three leading pacers with Hardik Pandya also bowling full four overs. Shivam Dube was also an option available. And that could be the way for Team India in IND vs PAK clash on Sunday.

“Today was a four-seamer pitch and we still managed to get two spinners who are all-rounders. I don’t know what to expect from the pitch, to be honest,” Rohit Sharma said at the post-match presentation.

Indian pacers in IND vs IRE

  • Arshdeep Singh: 2/35 in 4 at 8.80
  • Mohd Siraj: 1/13 in 3 at 4.30
  • Jasprit Bumrah: 2/6 in 3 at 2.00
  • Hardik Pandya: 3/27 in 4 at 6.80

Spin not an option yet

There was enough for spin but not much. The likes of Axar Patel who tosses it up for the bounce found success in his only over. He returned with a wicket for three runs. Ravindra Jadeja bowled only an over for no success. With four spinners in the line-up and only two overs of spin in IND vs IRE, it summed up how the conditions favoured pacers. Rohit Sharma also conceded spin might not be an option yet.

“Don’t think we can play four spinners here (laughs). When we picked the team, we wanted to have the balance. If conditions are there for seamers, we wanted to have that. Spin will play a part later on,” Rohit Sharma said.

That’s where India could face problems in picking India Playing XI for IND vs PAK clash.

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Pakistan batters do not play spin very well, at least in the current crop. And that is where India could take advantage of. With Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal in the line-up, India would surely have an upper hand in IND vs PAK. However, the New York pitch says otherwise.

Pakistani batters against spinners

Player Inn Runs Avg SR Outs
Babar Azam 92 1368 44.1 121.2 31
Mohd Rizwan 65 1127 56.4 121.4 20
Fakhar Zaman 56 661 24.5 130.9 27
Usman Khan 13 137 19.6 111.4 7
Shadab Khan 26 241 21.9 136.9 11
Azam Khan 8 8 2.0 36.4 4
Iftikhar Ahmed 36 348 116.0 116.4 3

IND vs PAK: How can India line up?

The way the New York pitch behaved, it seems unlikely that Rohit Sharma or Rahul Dravid will call up an extra spinner. India will go with four seamers in Bumrah-Siraj-Arshdeep-Hardik.

The only change could be in Axar Patel. Despite bowling well, he could miss out with Kuldeep Yadav coming in for IND vs PAK clash. But that will be a last-minute call after practice on Saturday at the Nassau County Stadium.

In the batting line-up, there won’t be any Yashasvi Jaiswal to accommodate Shivam Dube who can also bowl. Instead, Virat Kohli will open with Rohit with Rishabh Pant at No 3 and Suryakumar Yadav at No 4. Shivam Dube, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja will take the remaining batting slots.

If Axar does play, it could very well be decided at the toss. If India bat first, Axar Patel could be added to stretch the batting to No 8. Otherwise, if India bowl first, 7 batters would be sufficient on a poor pitch.

Predicted India Playing XI vs PAK

1. Rohit Sharma
2. Virat Kohli
3. Rishabh Pant (WK)
4. Suryakumar Yadav
5. Shivam Dube
6. Hardik Pandya
7. Ravindra Jadeja
8. Axar Patel/ Kuldeep Yadav
9. Jasprit Bumrah
10. Arshdeep Singh
11. Mohammed Siraj

Editors pick

India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup: Match Preview, Head-to-Head, Team News, Pitch & Weather Report

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