The T20I series which India won, saw the emergence of Suryakumar Yadav, the return to rhythm and form of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Virat Kohli’s possible role as India opener going forward. In the bowling department, Shardul Thakur picked up eight wickets from five matches, while Hardik Pandya returned to bowling full-time for India.
With endless possibilities for India as far as batting is concerned, the bowling too seems to be throwing a problem of plenty for the 2016 World T20 semi-finalists. However, if it was up to Brad Hogg, he knows exactly which three bowlers to pick for the T20 World Cup to lead India’s fast bowling charge.
“You definitely need them there – Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar. It depends what type of wickets it is. If it’s slower wicket, I might go with Natarajan, but if it’s a quicker wicket, I would go with Shami,” Hogg said while answering a question on his YouTube channel.
“But just remember, in those final overs, Shami gets a lot of reverse swing as well so I’d be very tempted to stick with the older brigade and have Natarajan as your back-up bowler. So for me, if I’m going into the T20 World Cup, I’m going with Bhuvi, Bumrah and Shami.
Bhuvneshwar has made an emphatic return to international cricket, following a long absence due to injuries, while Bumrah was allowed a personal leave by the BCCI, which turns out was because of his wedding. There has been no official update on Shami, who injured his forearm during the Test series against Australia, but he continues to be on the road to recovery.
Hogg also weighed in on who should be India’s No. 4 batsman for the T20 WC. With Suryakumar, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan in the ranks, Hogg believes the person ideal for the spot is Rishabh Pant, especially if the opening responsibility is going to be handled by Kohli and Rohit Sharma
“Rishabh batting at No. 4… always. I think so because if you’re going to open with Rohit and Kohli and then have Suryakumar coming at 3, I think it will be a wise option to have the left-hander coming in at No. 4 just to break the lines and lengths of the bowling,” Hogg explained.
“Also, because Pant is very dominant against spin and spinners normally come in those middle overs and are operating around the 10-12 over mark. That’s probably the area he’s most likely to come in. For me, Pant should always be out at No. 4 but if they lose two early wickets, I’d like to see Iyer come in.”