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India vs USA, T20 World Cup 2024: Why Men in Blue must avoid any changes to playing XI

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India’s batting was less than impressive against Pakistan, but they should still resist the temptation to make changes to their playing XI for the USA game. Here’s why.
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India had a jittery game in all honesty against arch-rivals Pakistan before Jasprit Bumrah and the pace department rescued them for a famous six-run win at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York. India vs Pakistan in New York was ICC’s big plan to push cricket into new territory. While the match wasn’t anything like a regular IPL game, where boundaries come on almost every second delivery, it lived up to the expectations as India registered the record for successfully defending the lowest total in T20 World Cup history.

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That record, however, has since been bettered by South Africa and frankly speaking, India wouldn’t want to defend such a low score again. Their next match is against high-flying co-hosts the United States of America (USA) and a victory in their final game in New York will put the Men in Blue on the brink of qualifying for Super 8.

USA by the way are also in top form. They thrashed Canada by chasing down 195 and scored 159 in the second innings against Pakistan before beating the Men in Green in Super Over.

There’s absolutely nothing to suggest that they cannot stun India to cause another upset, especially when they are playing at home. Hence it becomes doubly important for India to iron out whatever flaws have surfaced after the first two matches.

But what are the biggest flaws that plague Team India?

Honestly, it’s the batting that has the biggest room for improvement.

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After bowling Ireland out on 96 and restricting Pakistan to 113/7, there’s nothing much to complain about the bowling.

The batters, however, haven’t covered themselves in glory.

Should India make any changes?

In both games, Virat Kohli got out cheaply (1 and 4) and Suryakumar failed successively (2 and 7).

Rohit Sharma scored 52 in the first match before retiring out and against Pakistan scored 13. Rishabh Pant played at No. 3 in both games and scored 36 and 42.

Axar Patel got his first opportunity against Pakistan and made a useful 20 but Shivam Dube, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja failed to deliver in the high-pressure game.

The important point here, however, is whether India should look to make changes to their batting or should they continue to keep faith in these players.

Honestly speaking we don’t see India making any changes.

First of all, it was the first time most of the batters were tested at the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024 and even though most of them failed any knee-jerk reaction, especially against your first-choice players could only result in more trouble.

Also, it’s not like you have a lot of options on the bench.

Virat Kohli is known for scoring big runs in ICC tournaments. AP

Pakistan also by the way could not reach the target of 120 and it showed how difficult it is to bat in New York.

Still, if you are trigger-happy, some of the changes you can make are bringing in Yashasvi Jaiswal as an opener and pushing Kohli down. This, however, will disrupt the balance as one of the all-rounders will have to go out plus Kohli’s tendency to slow down in middle overs can also backfire. Kohli’s poor form is nothing but an aberration. The highest run-getter in the tournament’s history is bound to roar back to form sooner rather than later.

Samson for Sanju?

Another suggestion doing the rounds on social media is replacing Shivam Dube with Sanju Samson.

Samson’s addition will add steel to India’s batting while Dube hasn’t been used as a bowler so far. His batting form is also down since his selection in the squad. He has a highest of 21 in eight matches including the warm-up against Bangladesh since it was announced midway through IPL 2024 that Dube will be going to T20 World Cup.

If you see from this angle then it makes sense to bring in Samson but it’s just two matches. Before making any decision, you have to go back to why he was picked in the first place. Dube was picked because he can finish games like he did for Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2024 before losing form and can bowl 1-2 overs if required.

Samson doesn’t play as a finisher for Rajasthan Royals and neither can he bowl, so replacing Dube with a top-order batter will again be compromising on the team’s balance.

All in all, it doesn’t seem like Tam India will be making any changes for the USA game.

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