Why India need to bench these 3 cricketers and let youngsters in

Mohammad Bilal
Mohammad BilalNov 24, 2022 | 08:00

Why India need to bench these 3 cricketers and let youngsters in

From left: Rishabh Pant, Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Photo: Getty

Off late, current India T20I captain Hardik Pandya had to face a lot of questions over not playing Sanju Samson and Umran Malik during the games against New Zealand. To this, Pandya replied by saying: "ye meri team hai, coach aur mujhe jo sahi lagega, jo side hame chahiye hoga ham wo khilayenge (It's my team, whatever team combination me and the coach feels is right will be played). Pandya also said that those who haven't got the chance to play will eventually get their chance.

Samson, who has a good track record in T20 cricket, and Umran Malik, the star bowler from Jammu, were highly anticipated to play in the T20I series against New Zealand. But much to the surprise of the fans, the team management decided to bench them.

After India's disappointing run in the T20 World Cup, there was a lot of talk of resting few big names like KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma who coudln't deliver with the bat. Even Mohammad Shami, team's senior most pacer, struggled in big matches. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently sacked the Chetan Sharma-led selection committee after the team faired poorly in the Asia Cup and then in the T20 World Cup.

There are also talks of making Hardik Pandya the permanent T20I captain. But before that, it's also high time the team management benches some underperforming players so that youngsters who haven't got much exposure to international cricket get their chance.

Here are the three players, the team can rest for sometime:

1. Rishabh Pant: Rishabh Pant's form has dipped in the recent past. The 25-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman has struggled to even cross 30 runs in his last five T20I matches. He replaced Dinesh Karthik in the T20 World Cup semi-final against England, but he could score only six runs. 

  • In the last two T20I matches against New Zealand also, Pant scored only 11 and 6 runs. 
  • The management has the option of replacing Pant with Samson as the Kerala wicketkeeper-batsman had a good domestic season in the recent times.
  • In the domestic matches, Samson has scored 124 runs in the last 3 matches he played. Moreover, in T20I cricket, he has a strike rate of 135.15.
  • In the present circumstances, where the team needs a strong opener, Samson can be the perfect man for the job instead of Rishabh Pant.

2. Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Though Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been economical in the New Zealand series, the 32-year-old bowler can be rested in the shorter format of the game and instead played in the ODIs and Tests.

  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar in 2022 has played 31 T20I matches so far and has taken 37 wickets at an average of 19.6. He has been constantly playing the T20I matches for India and that has put a lot of burden of him.
  • We saw what happened to Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi who sustained injury after playing nearly all games for Pakistan. 
  • To prepare the team for the next year's 50 -over World Cup, the management can give Umran Malik a chance in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. 
  • Malik, who has played only three matches for India, has a good raw pace which can be beneficial for the team.

3. Mohammad Shami: In the shorter format, Mohammad Shami can be a misfit at times, as we saw in the T20 World Cup. 

  • His name wasn't initially there in the squad, but after Jasprit Bumrah got injured and was ruled out of the tournament, Shami was called. 
  • Shami hasn't played too many T20 games for India in 2022. Overall, he has played only 10 games and scalped 13 wickets at an average of 34.5.
  • Harshal Patel, who was benched for the entire T20 World Cup, can be played in place of Shami. Patel also has a decent T20 record in 2022 where he played 24 matches and took 27 wickets at an average of 27.00.
  • The right-arm seamer has a good pace and he can swing the ball well. In 2022 IPL, he was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore at a whopping Rs 10.75-crore price.
Last updated: November 24, 2022 | 19:05
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