Wasim Jaffer Picks Shikhar Dhawan As Crucial Backup Opener In His Ideal World Cup XI
By CricShots - Jul 24, 2023 3:46 pm
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Former Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer has revealed his ideal 15-member team for the upcoming ODI World Cup, presenting some bold choices and strategic insights. Jaffer named Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Shikhar Dhawan as his preferred openers, emphasizing the importance of having Dhawan as a seasoned backup.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan 

“My three openers will be Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Shikhar Dhawan. Even though Shikhar Dhawan might not be in the initial playing XI, I believe having him as the backup opener is crucial,” Wasim Jaffer stated during a discussion on JioCinema.

For the middle order, Jaffer placed Virat Kohli at number three, followed by Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, and Hardik Pandya at four, five, and six, respectively. Interestingly, he opted for three spinners – Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, and Kuldeep Yadav – citing the expected home conditions during the World Cup.

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“Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, and Kuldeep Yadav will be my three spinners in the XI,” he mentioned.

Jaffer’s selection of the spinners aligns with India’s ongoing West Indies series squad, where they are showcasing their skills. Emphasizing the significance of all-round performance, Jaffer supported the idea of using Hardik Pandya’s bowling skills, even if not for the full quota of ten overs.

“Even if he doesn’t bowl ten overs and bowls seven-eight overs, it’s enough for me,” Wasim Jaffer remarked, highlighting Pandya’s ability to contribute with both bat and ball.

Wasim Jaffer
Wasim Jaffer

Moving on to the seamers, Jaffer picked Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj as his two specialist choices for the XI. He also stressed the importance of a bowling-fit Hardik Pandya for India’s success in the home conditions.

“In my XI, I will have Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj/Mohammad Shami. I will play two seamers – Bumrah and Siraj. For me, it is very important that Hardik Pandya bowls because the World Cup is in India,” Wasim Jaffer explained thoughtfully.

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As backup players, Jaffer selected Shardul Thakur and Sanju Samson, showcasing his confidence in their abilities to add depth to the squad.

“If he bowls, I will definitely try to play three spinners, and I will definitely play both Axar and Jadeja because they are all-rounders. My third spinner will obviously be Kuldeep. My fourth seamer will be Shardul Thakur. Sanju Samson will be my backup keeper because I have already picked Shikhar as my third opener,” Wasim Jaffer outlined.