Team India is gearing up for the forthcoming Asia Cup and ICC ODI World Cup with a series against West Indies, set to commence at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on July 27. Ahead of the opening ODI, former Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer has shared his preferred playing XI for India.
Jaffer’s chosen opening pair consists of Shubman Gill alongside captain Rohit Sharma. While Ruturaj Gaikwad also made the squad as an opening option, Virat Kohli retained his usual No. 3 position. In the wicketkeeping role, Jaffer opted for Sanju Samson over Ishan Kishan, who has recently made a comeback to India’s ODI squad. Jaffer believes that Samson will follow Kohli in the batting order.
The former cricketer made some intriguing adjustments to the middle-order, positioning Suryakumar Yadav and all-rounder Hardik Pandya differently. Both players are returning from their stints in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in May. Samson was placed ahead of Pandya, while Suryakumar Yadav was designated as the No. 6 batter. Additionally, Jaffer included two spin-bowling all-rounders, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel.
Despite the anticipation for Yuzvendra Chahal’s return to the ODI squad, Jaffer chose Kuldeep Yadav as the sole wrist-spinner in his XI. The two fast bowlers in Jaffer’s lineup were Mohammad Siraj and Umran Malik.
My India XI for the first ODI:
4. Sanju (wk)
What’s yours? #WIvIND
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) July 26, 2023
In a previous interaction with ESPNCricinfo, Jaffer explained why he believed Ishan Kishan might miss out on the West Indies series. With Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill taking the opening slots, Kishan’s opportunities could be limited, creating a chance for Sanju Samson to showcase his abilities before the crucial ODI World Cup.
“For Sanju Samson, I feel he might get the opportunity first in this series. Because Ishan Kishan bats top of the order and they have got Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill there,” said Wasim Jaffer.
As Team India takes on West Indies in the upcoming ODI series, Jaffer’s insights and selection preferences will be a topic of interest among fans and experts. The matches will serve as vital preparation for India’s participation in the Asia Cup and the prestigious ICC ODI World Cup, and all eyes will be on the players to prove their mettle in the quest for glory on the global stage.