With Hardik Pandya ruled out of England game with ankle injury, India will have to take a call on whether to bring in Ravichandran Ashwin or continue with SKY & Mohd Shami in Lucknow.
LUCKNOW: For the second match in a row, India Cricket Team will play without Hardik Pandya. But as has been the case, the absence of the star all-rounder creates a lot of selection dilemmas ahead of IND vs ENG Cricket World Cup clash. As things stand, Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid will have to take 3 important calls for the India vs England game is on Sunday in Lucknow.
India are left with 14 players in the roster as BCCI has not sought a replacement. While India did play Suryakumar Yadav in Dharamshala against New Zealand, he failed to make a mark. In Lucknow, equations could also be different if the pitch is low and slow, offering assistance to spinners.
Ishan Kishan or Suryakumar Yadav
On his Cricket World Cup debut, Suryakumar Yadav was run out for just 2 runs. Ishan Kishan in Shubman Gill’s absence scored 0 and 47 in two games. But as far as the backing goes, Suryakumar Yadav has a clear role at No 6. In Hardik Pandya’s absence, SKY is the designated finisher along with Ravindra Jadeja at No 7.
Hence, it is unlikely that India Cricket Team would drop SKY for Ishan Kishan in IND vs ENG clash, especially with the defending world champions now depleted in bowling.
Three seamers of three pacers?
Lucknow’s Ekana Stadium has both kinds of pitches: one that is firm and good to bat on and one with a black soil surface. So far, in the Cricket World Cup, red soil pitches have been used in three games.
It is likely that for the IND vs ENG clash, the black soil surface will return. And if it does so, the pitch will be slow with little assistance to spinners.
In that situation, Rohit Sharma & Rahul Dravid will bring back Ravichandran Ashwin. Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav will be the two other spinners.
If Ashwin plays, who goes out?
However, if Ashwin does play on a surface where there is assistance for spinners, who goes out? It is unlikely that India will take the risk of dropping Suryakumar Yadav and play with five pure batters instead.
The only possibility will be to drop a seamer to accommodate Ashwin. But who will Rohit Sharma & Rahul Dravid drop?
Mohammad Shami returned to the side to bag a fifer against New Zealand. Mohammed Siraj, the second lead seamer has bagged six wickets so far, partnering Jasprit Bumrah.
Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid will now face the selection dilemma.
India Squad for Cricket World Cup 2023
Batters: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav
WKs: Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul
Seam all-rounders: Hardik Pandya (VC), Shardul Thakur
Spin all-rounders: Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin
Seamers: Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj
Spinner: Kuldeep Yadav