Former India speedster Zaheer Khan has named his top order for the team’s upcoming T20I series in New Zealand. He said that Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan could open the innings and either Sanju Samson or Suryakumar Yadav could play at No. 3 as well. However, he also stated that Shreyas Iyer has been itching to get that No. 3 spot, but his absence from the recently concluded T20 World Cup means he might have to prove himself once again.
However, Shreyas Iyer played as the No.4 batter for while before losing his place to current World No.1 T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav as well.
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.”
However, Shreyas Iyer failed to do well in Zimbabwe, as he scored 98 runs in four T20Is. He also got out for a mere one run during his only appearance against South Africa ahead of the T20 World Cup. And, he will look to cement his place in the playing XI by playing well in the upcoming games in the absence of big players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. Notably, Iyer has a good record in New Zealand, where he has smashed 153 runs in five T20Is at a decent average of 51.
Meanwhile, former player Parthiv Patel stated that Deepak Hooda was included in the India squad for the T20Is against New Zealand, as he can be used as a bowling option. Patel further added that the team should look for more such batters who can bowl a few overs if the regular ones have an off day.
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, the Hardik Pandya-led Indian team are all set to play three T20Is & three ODIs in New Zealand in November. The three-match T20I series will begin in Wellington on November 18. The action will then move to Mount Maunganui (November 20) and Napier (November 22) for the next two T20Is.
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