Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has encouraged the Indian squad to fine-tune its batting order ahead of Wednesday’s ICC T20 World Cup encounter against Afghanistan.
He went on to say that the ground in Abu Dhabi, where India will play for the first time outside of Dubai in the tournament, is faster, which means the ball will come off the bat wonderfully.
India reshuffled its batting order at the top after an eight-wicket loss to New Zealand on Sunday, with Ishan Kishan opening with KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma sliding to number three. India’s strategy backfired, as they were only able to score 110/7 in 20 overs, which New Zealand easily chased down in 14.3 overs.
“First of all, get the batting combination right, get the proper guys at the proper position like Rohit Sharma batting up the order and then once he gets set then it’s a different thing. With the Abu Dhabi pitch, you get more turns but the good thing is the pitch has more pace as well which means it will come nicely onto the bat and this is what the Indian team needs to be aware of,” Pathan said on Gameplan show on Star Sports.
Pathan, the player of the match in India’s 2007 Men’s T20 World Cup final victory, believes that players like Sharma, KL Rahul, and skipper Virat Kohli will love playing in Abu Dhabi because of the bounce on the pitch.
“They don’t need to worry about what happened in Dubai, they don’t need to be worried about what’s happening in Sharjah as far the pitch is concerned where the ball doesn’t come onto the bat. It’s a good cricketing pitch, so you need to enjoy that bounce, and I think guys like Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli will cherish this and they will enjoy”.
“If they just believe in their own timing, spend a bit more time and get the opening sorted, then they don’t need to worry about the quality spinners that we were talking about, they can face any spinner or fast bowler but they just need to spend more time,” concluded Pathan.
Similarly, former Indian cricket captain, Mohammed Azharuddin took it to micro-blogging site ‘koo’ and said “India is a great team loaded with champion players. Tonight if every player plays their natural free-flowing game we will see great results”.
India, who have still to play in Group 2, must now win all three of their remaining Super 12 matches to have a chance of qualifying for the semifinals, beginning with the encounter against Afghanistan.