In T20, teams with more bowling options have tended to do better. India went with just two regular seamers plus Hardik Pandya in the last two games against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. And two spinners.
India’s captain Rohit Sharma says he deliberately went in with this combination as he wanted to assess how the team faces the challenges and learn from it ahead of the world cup.
“ I wanted to try this combination of three seamers and two spinners- what happens. We are still looking for answers,” Rohit Sharma said in the post-match ceremony after India lost to Sri Lanka.
“Ideal combination is to have four seamers. But you also want to try out with three seamers – what happens. I want to be prepared for the world cup. Where you are challenged as a team. When you go to the world cup, you want to have all the answers. Since Hardik Pandya has come back, we have played with 3 seamers,” Rohit said.
India went with just four fast bowling options in the squad but first Deepak Chahar wasn’t fit, then Avesh Khan fell sick.
For a while now, India have been experimenting with their team and many felt that the Asia Cup should have been the curtain raiser for the big event ahead but India thought differently. They rested Jasprit Bumrah, and in the absence of Harshal Patel, they went in with a squad with less fast bowling options.
Rohit Sharma would insist that it was all part of a grand plan.
“It’s good to know what can happen when you play with three seamers, two spinners … These defeats teach us a whole lot of things.”
In the loss to Sri Lanka, Rohit Sharma said that he wanted to bring on the offspin of Deepak Hooda early on but the two right-handed openers of Sri Lanka batted too long to foil his plan.
“I was thinking of bringing Hooda early on to left-handers but that plan didn’t work. With bigger boundaries, you can use the spinners well. That plan didn’t work for us as their right handers batted longer.”