We can afford to play three spinners with Hardik Pandya in side: Rohit Sharma | Cricket News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: With the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai known to offer a tacky, spin-aiding surface and the presense of a pace all-rounder in Hardik Pandya, skipper Rohit Sharma hinted that India might go in with three spinners in their World Cup opener against Australia on Sunday.
The presence of a genuine quick all-rounder like Hardik gives India the option playing three specialist spinners — left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and slow left-arm orthodox Ravindra Jadeja — during the World Cup
Asked if he is game on playing the troika of slow operators, Rohit replied: “Yeah, I mean that’s the luxury we have where we can afford to play three spinners because I don’t really consider Hardik Pandya as just a seamer,” said Rohit in his pre-match press meet.
“He (Hardik) is a proper fast bowler, who can crank up good speed. So, that gives us an advantage. That gives us that luxury of playing three spinners and three seamers as well. So, there’s a possibility of that,” he added.
Obviously, the option of playing Ashwin would then allow India to have greater batting depth.
“It gives us that balance; gives us that number eight batting option as well. We have to come here again tomorrow afternoon and see what the pitch looks like but yeah, three spinners is definitely an option,” said Rohit.
“9-10” players will remain same
Rohit believes in consistency in playing eleven and hence indicated that 9 or 10 players, permitting fitness, will play all games but the best playing eleven will be based on conditions.
“We definitely want to be a team where we want to play the best 11, but you can pick your best 11 based on the conditions that you have in front of you. Where there is a bit of assistance to the slower bowlers, you need to bring in those slower bowlers.
“So, your core of the team will remain the same. Your 8, 9, 10 players will remain the same. There will be one or two changes here and there, which you’ve got to be ready to accept and take it into your stride and move forward.”
Rohit was categorical in his feeling that the World Cup is not a place for personal preferences.
“No one should have personal preferences. It’s the team that matters and the team’s goal that matters.”
‘We give them role clarity’
India still have some middle-order puzzle as to when they can unleash a gun player like Suryakumar Yadav.
How does the team assess which conditions to use Shreyas Iyer or SKY?
“Look, in terms of playing in these conditions, there’s a huge amount of experience. They’ve played so much cricket, they know how to play. It is not for me to assess that.
“It is for them to assess that in the middle and then you give them that freedom and clarity that this is what we want from you. Now how you do it, it is completely up to you.”
“Feel for Gill”
While Rohit officially maintained that Shubman Gill, who is down with dengue, is still not ruled out, he gave enough indications that the young opener is unlikely to get fit for Sunday’s game.
“No, it doesn’t worry. I mean obviously he is sick. I feel for him. But in terms of, you know, me being the human being first, I want him to get well, not the captain thinking, oh, I want Gill to play tomorrow. No, I want him to get well,” Rohit answered to a query about how worried he is about his opening partner.
“He’s a young guy. He’s got a fit body so he’ll recover quickly.”
(With inputs from PTI)

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