Gautam Gambhir has chosen his Indian team to face Pakistan in their first encounter of the T20 World Cup.
The selectors recently picked a 15-member Indian squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup. Ravichandran Ashwin was among the five spinners who found favor with the selectors.
During a discussion on the Star Sports show Follow the Blues, Gautam Gambhir was asked to pick his Indian side for the clash against Pakistan. He replied:
"KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma to open the batting, Virat Kohli to bat at No.3, Suryakumar Yadav at No.4, Rishabh Pant at No.5, Hardik at No.6, Jadeja at No.7, Bhuvi at No.8, Varun Chakravarthy at No.9, Shami at No.10 and Bumrah No.11."
The former India opener added that if Shardul Thakur was part of the Indian squad, he might have played him instead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Gambhir said:
"Probably had I had Shardul Thakur, I would have picked him to bat at No.8 and Varun Chakravarthy at No.9 and then I could have probably gone with Shami and Bumrah."
Thakur is among the three standbys chosen for the global event. Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Chahar are the other two players in the reserves.
Gautam Gambhir was also asked if he was happy to go in with just two spinners. He responded:
"At least during the start of the tournament. It is going to be the first game. I am sure it is not going to be a rank turner. Probably going deeper into the second half of the tournament you might pick another spinner but not in the initial half of the tournament."
The 39-year-old pointed out that Thakur could have even played as the bowling all-rounder instead of Ravindra Jadeja depending on the pitch conditions. Gambhir elaborated:
"And again had Shardul Thakur been there in the squad, could have actually played him in place of Jadeja as well looking at the conditions and you could have gone with a wrist-spinner and Varun Chakravarthy. Then what happens is that there are two attacking options with Varun and Rahul Chahar."
Gautam Gambhir signed off by stating that he would have played Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who can bat at No. 8, ahead of Mohammed Shami in such a scenario.