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Jaiswal, Shivam Dube given unfamiliar roles, Arshdeep Singh ignored as Sunil Gavaskar picks India’s T20WC XI vs Ireland

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Team India is all set to kick off their T20 World Cup campaign on Wednesday against Ireland at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York. This will be India’s first international game in the format since their win in the home series against Afghanistan earlier in January this year. Ahead of the match, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, joining the bandwagon of fellow veteran cricketers, gave his two cents on the likely playing XI that captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid might pick for the match against Ireland.

Sunil Gavaskar reveals his preferred India playing XI for match against Ireland

Rather than opting for a left-right combination at the top of the batting order, Gavaskar, revealing his preferred combination on Star Sports, named Virat Kohli as Rohit’s opening partner. “The way Kohli has batted, particularly the second half of the IPL, he deserves to open the batting with Rohit Sharma, the captain. Seriously, good players are good players. They can bat anywhere, you know whether they’re right and left hand,” Gavaskar had earlier said as he discarded the left-right theory.

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However, the most surprising aspect of the line-up picked by the batting legend was retaining Yashasvi Jaiswal, but for a role as a No. 3 batter. The left-hander has never batted outside the opening position for India in international cricket or in IPL for Rajasthan Royals. Although, he does have the experience of batting at No. 3 for Mumbai in 2021 and 2022 editions of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He scored 303 runs in 13 such innings at a strike rate of 132.31 with just one fifty.

The other major aspect in Gavaskar’s line-up was the absence of Arshdeep Singh despite his impressive show in the warm-up game against Bangladesh last week in New York as the veteran batter preferred Mohammed Siraj as Jasprit Bumrah’s lone back-up pacer. Gavaskar also assigned a N0. 8 role for Shivam Dube, where he has never batted for India in T20Is. In the Afghanistan series in January, Dube was sent at No. 5 and 6.

Sunil Gavaskar’s India playing XI for T20 World Cup match vs Ireland: Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh.

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