India are doing brilliantly in the Asia Cup 2022, having a close game against Pakistan but putting up a rather clinical and subdued performance against Hong Kong. They won by 40 runs. They have made it to the Super 4 stages. But a lot of Indian fans are asking the question as to what can be India’s batting lineup with KL Rahul not performing to his mark. What will be India’s Batting order?
Can Surya be promoted? Will the batting order be flexible or will there be fixed positions for each of the players? Well, after the post-match presentation, India skipper Rohit Sharma was asked a very pertinent question and the insights that he has given are really eye-opening.
Why fans are questioning India’s Batting order?
The talk is about flexibility. There is talk of individuals who can contribute in any position and be ready for any kind of situation. Why did Rohit Sharma’s comments in the game after Hong Kong set out a blueprint and also exposed the mindset as to how India is going to go about in the Asia Cup and in the T20 World Cup, which will be held in October in Australia? What were the key talking points after the end of the match against Hong Kong? He said bowling could be better Indeed, the bowling could have been better. You can argue for Arshdeep that it was probably a rare off day . But for Avesh Khan, his struggles in 2022 have really really mounted.
The 1.4 billion Indian cricket fans can then honestly say, “OK, Indian cricket team is flexible.”
Left arm bowling to left arm could have caused some issues. But Pakistan had to delay Muhammad Nawaz and bowl him at the death. When he was bowling at the death, it was a lottery because India needed just seven runs in the last over and they got it. Thanks to Hardik Pandya.
Surya Kumar batted at #5 in the game against Pakistan, although he did struggle. But in the game against Hong Kong, he was back at his number four position.
What did Rohit Sharma say?
When asked what India’s batting strategy will be? and what will be India’s Batting order? This is the first clear indication that Rohit Sharma has given to be ready to bat wherever required. Try and use the right matchups. A flexible batting order is an indication that no player has a fixed position in the batting lineup. One classic example is Ravindra Jadeja in the game against Pakistan: when Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma were out, the plan was to push Surya and then Hardik, but to his surprise, he pushed Ravindra Jadeja.
In the case of KL Rahul, there is a big debate as to whether you should replace him with Rishabh Pant. Can Virat Kohli open? All that might happen because Rohit Sharma said “this was being ready to bat wherever required and a flexible batting order.” These words will be the template that India will follow for the Asia Cup.
Game plan for future?
As for the T20 World Cup, probably what might happen is Virat could open and KL comes down to #3. Whether they open with Pant for the left-hand right-hand combination is a big debate. Because if Pant is there at #6 and Jaddu is there at #7, Hardik Pandya will be at five or six depending upon the situation.
KL’s best position at that point could be #3, where Virat could open. What is Virat Kohli’s role? In that particular interview that he did with Surya Kumar Yadav on the official website of the BCCI, he said, “My role is to stabilise the innings and build partnerships.”
Is KL Rahul doing it Perhaps he’ll have a better chance at #3. What is Virat Kohli doing? In the first two games, he has done it. Surya Kumar Yadav will remember that 98-run innings because it allowed him to express himself and go beserk. That is the way the Indian batting will be. So folks, let us be very very clear Rohit’s template is taking shape. Jadeja’s position will be key. Jadeja could be our floater. So, it is clear that India’s Batting order is flexible.
You will not see Virat Kohli at number four or five. You’ll see Virat Kohli either at number three or two. But Jadeja can bat from #7 to #4, which might result in Surya dropping down to five and Hardik at 6. Surya and Virat have clear roles. Surya, Mr. 360. Virat is our anchor. So maybe we may want two anchors in that top order Virat and KL. If KL can regain his form, India’s batting will be sorted.
Hardik is our X-Factor. Is there a plan B for KL Rahul? I think there is no Plan B for KL Rahul. Rohit Sharma looked at the courts and analysed the courts. But it is very important to note that the batting order is flexible for the Asia Cup and for the T20 World Cup. So “matchups” and “flexibility” — those two words are your key mantras for the Indian cricket team heading into the T20 World Cup in Australia.
So Rohit has revealed India’s Batting order or the batting template and whether India’s batting is sorted remains to be seen. But the message is very very clear. The Captain is communicating and is communicating to the entire group that they have to be ready to bat wherever required.
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