‘Kohli better than Gayle’: Irfan Pathan picks Virat in India’s T20 World Cup squad | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan recently took on the role of a selector, crafting his ideal India squad for the highly anticipated T20 World Cup. Pathan assessed various players, identifying those who have strongly positioned themselves for selection and those who still have work to do to secure a spot in the squad.
With the T20 World Cup set to commence shortly after the conclusion of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, the tournament presents India with a golden opportunity to break their ICC trophy drought.Scheduled to be co-hosted by the USA and West Indies from June 1 to 29, anticipation for the event is palpable.Pathan emphasised that India’s batting strength will largely rely on captain Rohit Sharma and the talismanic Virat Kohli. Kohli’s recent performances in the IPL have showcased an expanded game, with a willingness to attack from the outset. Pathan asserted the importance of Kohli’s presence in major tournaments, dispelling any doubts about his strike rate.
Kohli’s unforgettable display against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup 2022 remains etched in cricketing memory. His masterful innings of an unbeaten 82 off just 53 deliveries at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) played a pivotal role in India’s thrilling victory, further underlining his significance in high-pressure encounters.
“People are talking about Virat Kohli so I would like to say that his strike rate in international cricket (T20Is) is as good as Chris Gayle or even better than Gayle’s. His strike rate as far as the Indian power hitters are concerned Hardik Pandya: 139 and Virat Kohli: 137 – there isn’t much of a difference. Rohit Sharma is about 139, Kohli’s at 137. Always remember the 82* against Pakistan at the 2022 T20 World Cup. Whenever this question arises in your mind, always remember he is a big-stage player, a match winner and knows how to chase. He will excel under pressure. So there is no point in questioning,” Pathan said as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
The primary point of contention in the squad revolves around the wicket-keeper position. Rishabh Pant, who has admirably recovered from a life-threatening accident and undergone numerous surgeries, is currently showcasing his skills in the ongoing IPL. On the other hand, Jitesh Sharma has exhibited promising talent but lacks significant experience at the international level.
Additionally, KL Rahul presents a versatile option, capable of batting effectively in various positions as per the team’s requirements. The selection panel faces a challenging decision in determining the ideal candidate for the crucial wicketkeeper role in the upcoming T20 World Cup squad.
As per ESPNcricinfo, Pathan has opted for two dynamic all-rounders in Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja. When it comes to the wicketkeeper position, Pathan suggests that two out of KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, and Jitesh Sharma should be included in the squad. While considering the wicketkeeper options, Pathan views Pant and Sharma as the frontrunners for the role.
Additionally, for the spin department, Pathan favors Kuldeep Yadav and Ravi Bishnoi as his preferred choices. This selection strategy aims to strike a balance between experience, talent, and versatility to create a well-rounded and competitive squad for the much-awaited T20 World Cup.
Irfan’s likely India 15 for T20 World Cup
Batters: Rohit Sharma, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rinku Singh
All-Rounders: Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja
Wicketkeepers: Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Jitesh Sharma (any two of them)
Spinners: Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi
Pacers: Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohsin Khan/Arshdeep Singh
(With ANI inputs)

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