Saba Karim wants Team India to pick veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in their playing XI for their crucial Super 4 clash against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, September 6.
Speaking on India News Sports, the former Indian cricketer suggested that the seasoned campaigner should replace batting all-rounder Deepak Hooda for the fixture.
Karim opined that the Men in Blue must have five frontline bowlers, with Hardik Pandya being the sixth bowling option. He stated:
“Ravichandran Ashwin should play against Sri Lanka and, unfortunately, Deepak Hooda will have to miss out. They must go back to playing with a combination of five bowlers and Hardik Pandya as the sixth bowling option.”
Reetinder Singh Sodhi also mentioned that Ashwin must feature in the playing XI, given that he is one of the most experienced bowlers in India’s lineup. He highlighted that the crafty spinner would prove to be effective against Sri Lanka, as they have a lot of left-handed batters in their side.
The former India all-rounder added that the Indian bowlers failed to deliver under pressure against Pakistan and would need an experienced bowler for their upcoming tie. Sodhi explained:
“Ravichandran Ashwin will have to come in for Ravi Bishnoi. Sri Lanka have a number of left-handers in their batting lineup and they have done well in this tournament. To counter that, you will need someone who has experience. India must strengthen their bowling.
“We now know that this bowling can succumb under pressure. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been in top-class form. But when there was pressure, he conceded 19 runs. They will need some experience and I think Ashwin is the only option that we can go to at this stage.”
Notably, Ashwin wasn’t a part of India’s playing XI for their first three matches in the ongoing Asia Cup 2022. It remains to be seen if the team management decides to add the senior player to the team for the upcoming fixture.
“From where will India bring in another bowler now?” – Reetinder Sodhi on India’s limited bowling options
Sodhi pointed out that Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh would be low on confidence after the team’s five-wicket defeat to Pakistan. He reckoned that the team will still have to stick with the same set of bowlers as they don’t have enough options in their squad.
The former cricketer noted that the Men in Blue erred by not having an alternate plan. He highlighted the absence of an extra seamer in India’s squad, suggesting that they didn’t think of having a plan B. Sodhi elaborated:
“From where will India bring in another bowler now? Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh’s confidence would have taken a hit after the Pakistan game. It is never easy to bounce back from that very soon, especially when you have to play an important match. India themselves are the ones to be blamed for this situation as they don’t have a plan B”
The upcoming clash against Sri Lanka is a must-win one for Team India. The side will be aiming to come up with an improved performance in the encounter as they look to remain afloat in the continental tournament.