Canberra, December 2
Legendary Sunil Gavaskar says that spinner Kuldeep Yadav seems to have got his rhythm back and India could persist with him in the first T20 International instead of Yuzvendra Chahal.
Playing in place of Chahal in the third ODI, Kuldeep bowled well in the middle overs to help India contain the Australian batsmen. The left-arm wrist spinner gave away 57 runs in his 10-over quota and also dismissed Cameron Green.
“Kuldeep showed good rhythm. He bowled after long time. I think at least for the first T20 International, he can be tried out and see how it goes,” said Gavaskar.
The three-match T20 series begins here on Friday.
Gavaskar also feels that if Hardik Pandya could bowl two or three overs in the shortest format, it will benefit India.
“Hardik will bowl a couple of overs in the T20 format and that will ease the load on other bowlers and also create more options for Kohli.”
In fact Pandya’s batting performance has impressed Gavaskar so much that he wants the flamboyant all-rounder to bat at No. 4 in the T20s if the top three can bat for at least 14 overs.
“For me, KL Rahul, who scored nearly 700 runs in IPL and Shikhar Dhawan, who has of late looked most comfortable in T20 format should open the innings followed by Virat Kohli.
“If they stay till 14th or 15th over, then Hardik Pandya comes in at No. 4 or if two wickets go in Powerplay, then Shreyas Iyer,” said Gavaskar.
For him, beyond the top five, it doesn’t matter who comes to bat next as these five can put big runs on the board.
On captain Kohli completing fastest 12,000 ODI runs, Gavaskar said that every feat of the Indian captain was a reason for celebration.
“His performance has been ‘Virat’ (big). The way he has grown as a batsman from U-19 level, the way he made sacrifices, absolutely inspirational,” he said.
Gavaskar said that one should take a cursory glance at Kohli’s record to understand his greatness in ODIs.
“He has 60 fifties and 43 hundreds which is 103 times crossing the score of 50 plus in 253 innings. That’s unbelievable consistency. Truly phenomenal,” said Gavaskar. PTI