Irfan Pathan Advocates For Balanced Team For T20 World Cup 2024
By CricShots - Dec 6, 2023 12:29 pm
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Following the crushing defeat in the ODI World Cup 2023 final, the Indian team management has already embarked on planning for the T20 World Cup 2024, aiming to break India’s decade-long ICC trophy drought. The selectors are keen to provide opportunities to youngsters ahead of the tournament, with many experts suggesting that India should enter the event with a youthful side, excluding stalwarts Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

Team India
Team India

However, former Indian all-rounder and 2007 T20 World Cup-winning player Irfan Pathan believes that India should approach the T20 World Cup with a balanced team comprising both experienced and young players. Pathan drew parallels to the 2007 T20 World Cup, where India’s squad featured seasoned players like Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, and Yuvraj Singh alongside youngsters.

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“I feel the Indian team should combine experience and youth. When we won the last T20 World Cup, in 2007, many said it was a young and inexperienced team that won the title, but that’s not true. Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir had been playing for a while then,” Irfan Pathan remarked on Star Sports.

Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan

He added, “Me and Dhoni were also part of the team for almost four years. There was also Ajit Agarkar, Yuvraj Singh, and Harbhajan Singh as well. So, you have to combine experience with youth, especially for those conditions where batting gets a bit tricky.”

It’s worth noting that ahead of the T20 World Cup 2007, senior players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, and Anil Kumble opted out of the tournament, prompting the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) to appoint MS Dhoni as the new captain.

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The Men in Blue entered the tournament as underdogs but surprised everyone by emerging victorious, defeating Pakistan by five runs in the final to become champions of the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup. Irfan Pathan was awarded Player of the Match in the final, taking 3/16 in four overs, including the wickets of Shoaib Malik, Irfan Pathan, and Yasir Arafat. The left-arm seamer was also India’s second-highest wicket-taker with ten scalps to his name.