• Soumyajit Dutta

International Cricket: India's T20 line-up - Who will be the second spinner and backup opener

International Cricket: India's T20 line-up - With several key players missing the South Africa series, this is an opportunity for others to address vital questions and establish a claim to a spot in Australia - For more updates keep watching 99Runs for more international matches


India's focus will move to preparations for the T20 World Cup, which will be hosted in Australia in October-November, when the five-match T20I series against South Africa begins on Thursday. It's time for some of the backups to shine now that Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Jasprit Bumrah are all out.



India's T20 line-up - Who will be the second spinner and backup opener



One of India's most pressing challenges is determining how to begin Dinesh Karthik, but that's a matter for another day (watch these pages).


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Open & Middle-order slot



In India's middle order, only one position is up for grabs.


However, it's similar to a government job opening in the country: there are many more applicants than slots available. Before the IPL, Shreyas Iyer annihilated Sri Lanka with 57* off 28, 74* off 44, and 73* off 45.


All of those runs came from No. 3, which Iyer believes is his greatest position. However, Kohli will almost certainly bat there at the World Cup, despite his current form.



India's T20 line-up - Who will be the second spinner and backup opener



Iyer has also performed admirably at No. 4 in the past, so it's not as if he can't bat lower in the order.


The only problem is that he prefers to take his time settling in, which is something he needs to focus on.


Deepak Hooda, who just had his greatest IPL season with 451 runs at a strike rate of 136.66, is the next possibility.




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Another plus for him is that he can contribute with the ball if necessary.


Suryakumar Yadav, who is now out with a forearm injury but is a 360-degree hitter who can attack right away, is another option.


This series is a wonderful opportunity for Iyer and Hooda to make their case, with Rahul Tripathi and Sanju Samson also banging on the door.



India's T20 line-up - Who will be the second spinner and backup opener



The second spinner slot



Yuzvendra Chahal cemented his standing as India's No. 1 T20I spinner with 27 wickets in IPL 2022, while the second spinner's spot is still up for grabs.


Ravindra Jadeja would have marched into that role a year ago, but a poor IPL performance followed by an injury has allowed others to take his place.


India has a like-for-like alternative for Jadeja in Axar Patel. Axar can bowl four overs on a regular basis, score quick runs in the bottom middle order, and field well.


Against a team with several left-handed batters, the latter could be a concern. That's where Kuldeep Yadav enters the picture.


Kuldeep, an attacking wrist spinner, appears to have rediscovered his rhythm following a few adjustments to his approach.


In addition to Chahal, he spins the ball away from left-handed batters.


Ravi Bishnoi, with his rapid googlies, sliders, and legbreaks, is another possibility.


In February 2022, he produced a good first impression during the West Indies series, although he is still a work in progress.


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The backup opener For Team India


India is still looking for a replacement opener for Rohit and KL Rahul.



India's T20 line-up - Who will be the second spinner and backup opener



The selectors have chosen Ishan Kishan for that role in the 2021 T20 World Cup, claiming that he could even bat in the middle order if necessary.


His current appearance, on the other hand, flatters to deceive. He did score 418 runs in IPL 2022, albeit at a strike rate of only 120.11.


With Rahul also eligible to keep, India will not require a third wicket-keeper if Karthik reaches the World Cup roster.




Fast Bowling Squad



With Bumrah out of the picture, the next man in line will have plenty of chances. When he's at his best, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is one of the top seamers in the world. He had a strong IPL season, but India would prefer him to be more consistent and potent.


In the absence of Mohammed Shami and Deepak Chahar, he has a potential to become India's favourite new-ball bowler. He's also capable of being just as good as anyone in the death overs.





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