India vs New Zealand: After India’s record-breaking defeat against Pakistan, last Sunday, the Men in Blues are having an unusually long break before they show up for the second match against New Zealand. Virat Kohli and his men will face the Kiwi challenge on 31st October in Dubai International Stadium.
The Indian team is likely to follow up the same playing11 despite getting exposed to a couple of loopholes. Mentor MS Dhoni’s successful template of backing the same team will have an influence on the side, apparently which Rohit Sharma also believes in.
The CSK template refers to the plan where the skipper prefers to go ahead with the same playing11 and not tinkering with the players until there comes a do or die situation. The change in the playing 11 is forced only when there is someone who is unfit to play for that day.
The Indian top-order failed in the match against Pakistan, the middle order was exposed to a larger extent, bowlers didn’t quite get hold of the grip, however, these will not be an area of concern for the team and the Indian management for the match against New Zealand.
If India follows CSK templet, the inclusion of Shardul Thakur in the team is unlikely to happen. Earlier, it was learnt that team India might bench Hardik Pandya for the rest of India matches due to his inability to bowl and the team would subsequently draft Shardul Thakur into the playing11.
Shardul Thakur can provide his valuable services with the ball, however, his batting abilities are nowhere near the swashbuckling all-rounder Hardik Pandya. With the ball, Thakur certainly is a wicket-taking bowler, but at the same time, he leaks runs at an economy of 9.
As of now, team India can’t find any replacement for the Baroda all-rounder which seems to be a problem for the inaugural T20 World Cup champions. Though his back and shoulder are restricting him from bowling, his batting performances in the recent matches aren’t encouraging either to put money on him wholeheartedly.
Hardik has started bowling in the nets and is likely to be in the Indian setup for the next match. The Indian think tanks were having a close eye on the all-rounder when he began his bowling. It remains to be seen if he walks out for the match against New Zealand or not, this Sunday.
Moreover, Shardul can still have slight chances of getting his place in the team by replacing Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The seasoned pacer has lost his speed and swing to a large extent owing to his timely injuries. He seemed to be off-touch against Pakistan, however, is likely to play against the Black Caps due to his canny variations.