Former India cricketer Zaheer Khan has picked his top order for India’s upcoming T20I series in New Zealand. He feels Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan could open the innings and either Sanju Samson or Suryakumar Yadav can bat at No. 3. The veteran said that Shreyas Iyer has been waiting to get that No. 3 spot, but his absence from the squad in the recently concluded T20 World Cup means he might have to prove his worth all over again.
Speaking to Cricbuzz, Zaheer Khan said: “Since Rohit and KL are not there, you’ll see Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan starting the innings for the Indian team. Sanju Samson or Suryakumar Yadav might be number three. Shreyas Iyer is itching for that opportunity. He must be disappointed that he’s missed the flight to the T20 World Cup.”
Shreyas Iyer has failed to make an impact in Zimbabwe, as he scored 98 runs in four T20Is. He also got out for just one run during his solitary appearance against South Africa ahead of the T20 World Cup as well. He will look to seal his place in the playing XI by delivering in the upcoming games in the absence of big players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. Meanwhile, Iyer also enjoys a good record in New Zealand, where he has scored 153 runs in five T20Is at a decent average of 51.
On the other hand, former player Parthiv Patel feels Deepak Hooda was included in the India squad for the T20Is against New Zealand, as he can bowl also. Patel also shared that the team should look for more such batters who can bowl a few overs if the regular bowlers have an off day as well.
Speaking on the same show, Patel said: “Interestingly, Deepak Hooda got into the side because he could bowl, give you those couple of overs. If you want to become World Champions, you must have those batters who can give you a couple of overs, and it gives a cushion to your captain and your bowler as well, an option of attacking.”
However, Hardik Pandya and Co. are set to play three T20Is & three ODIs in New Zealand in November. The three-match T20I series commences in Wellington on November 18. The series will then move to Mount Maunganui (November 20) and Napier (November 22) for the next two T20Is as well.
India squad for T20Is: Hardik Pandya (C), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (VC and WK), Sanju Samson (WK), Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Mohd. Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umran Malik