Abhinav Mukund, while discussing India’s potential bowling changes for the second T20I against the West Indies, expressed that he doesn’t foresee many alterations to the bowling lineup. He highlighted Mukesh Kumar’s exceptional performance at the death and suggested he deserves another opportunity in the T20I series.
Mukund also mentioned that although Arshdeep Singh initially struggled, he made a strong comeback during the later stages of the match. He praised Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal’s performances as well and concluded that he doesn’t perceive major concerns in India’s bowling lineup.
He added: “I feel India won’t make too many changes to their playing XI itself but to the bowling lineup, I don’t think there will be too many more changes. With Hardik Pandya bowling four overs, that doesn’t give the option of bringing in another medium pacer. Mukesh Kumar was exceptional at the death and I feel he needs another run in this T20I series. Arshdeep Singh was a little bit undercooked but he also came back strongly at the death.”
Aakash Chopra, when questioned about whether India should maintain the same bowling lineup, emphasized the difficulty of predicting the ideal bowling composition without assessing the pitch conditions.
“Arshdeep Singh was a little bit undercooked but he also came back strongly at the death.”
Chopra also noted that India’s primary issue lies in their batting, particularly the absence of a reliable batter at the No. 8 position. He pointed out that the current squad lacks a player who can contribute effectively in that batting slot.
“As the match is on a new ground, the second T20I will be played in Guyana, it’s almost impossible to say without looking at the pitch what bowling lineup you should field. The one problem is not about the bowling but actually batting – you don’t have a batter at No. 8. But, unfortunately, in the entire squad, you don’t have a player sitting outside who can bat well and can play at No. 8. So that is a weak area of the Indian team which you cannot address by changing the bowling lineup,” he further added.
The absence of well-rounded bowling all-rounders like Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, and Washington Sundar has disrupted the balance of India’s playing XI. It’s important to mention that Mukesh Kumar made his T20I debut in the opening match of the series.
The Men in Blue had managed to restrict the West Indies to a score of 149/6 in the initial T20I, but they fell short in the run chase, losing by a narrow margin of four runs.
The second T20I is scheduled to take place at a new venue in Guyana, which adds an element of uncertainty to the selection of the bowling lineup due to the unfamiliar pitch conditions. Overall, both Mukund and Chopra highlighted the need for India to address their batting concerns rather than relying solely on changes in the bowling department.
The absence of a capable batter at No. 8 and the lack of versatile bowling all-rounders have been identified as key challenges for the Indian cricket team’s playing XI balance in the ongoing series against the West Indies.