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India Should Pick Two Wrist-Spinners For T20 WC: Irfan Pathan

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Mumbai, Apr 28 (PTI) Former all-rounder Irfan Pathan said India must pick five specialist bowlers along with two wrist-spinners in their squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup to be played in the Caribbean and the USA.

With the May 1 deadline for the squad announcement approaching fast, discussions have intensified around the combination of India’s squad for the showpiece event starting on June 2.
“You need five good bowlers — that’s a must. What are your wicket-taking options? When you’re talking about Ravindra Jadeja at No. 8 and playing as a spin (all-rounder), I would rather have two wrist-spinners playing,” Pathan told Star Sports.
“I would rather have two proper wrist-spinners playing, (Ravi) Bishnoi and Kuldeep (Yadav), in my playing XI. If you look at Bishnoi’s numbers, you know, when he played, he was pretty good.”

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Pathan, however, is not in favour of calling up Rajasthan Royals’ Yuzvendra Chahal for the World Cup.
“Yes, we’re talking about Chahal right now because of the IPL performances but don’t forget the fielding part of it as well. If you have to balance the fielding, you have to balance where a bowler can bowl at the particular area,” he said.

Pathan conceded that Jasprit Bumrah is the only automatic selection among the bowlers.
“There’s only one player who you can blindly say (certain for selection) is Bumrah. But apart from Bumrah, you need at least two fast bowlers who can be part of the regular XI,” the former India cricketer said.
“The biggest problem the Indian team has is the combination of fast bowling. It’s very important to fix that combination, so go towards experience.

“With Bumrah, you can see (Mohammed) Siraj and Arshdeep (Singh) there, which I don’t think is ideal, but this is the only option you have now,” he said.
Former India batter K Srikkanth, meanwhile, is not in favour of Siraj being selected for the World Cup.

“Bumrah is in the squad. Arshdeep as well. But the third pacer can’t be Siraj. He’ll bowl well in one game and then not perform in 10 games. He’s an erratic bowler, you saw it in the World Cup,” he said.
“That’s why I’m saying we should look at who’s bowling well in the death overs, and that is Avesh Khan. He’s been performing well and he’s done well on the international front, he has a little experience as well. He’s mastered the wide yorkers also,” Srikkanth added.

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However, former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody backed Siraj. “He looks mentally and physically fatigued. He has come into this IPL having played a lot of all format cricket for India for a long period of time,” he said.

“He plays his cricket in the IPL at probably the hardest venue (Bengaluru) whether you bowl quick or you bowl spin — that needs to be taken into consideration. The third thing is he’s playing in a poor side. RCB have been a poor side this year and it’s very hard to rise with what’s happening around you.”

“I would back him 100 per cent to step up in the World Cup, purely because if you look at historically what he’s done for India and even what he did in the IPL last year,” Moody added.

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