Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh feels that T20 World Cup 2021 India squad needs to change their combination for their contest against New Zealand.
The Men In Blue will face New Zealand in a virtual quarter-final contest of sorts on Sunday, given that Pakistan have made easy work of the two most formidable members in the group.
Harbhajan Singh vouched for the inclusion of Ishan Kishan and believes that he should replace KL Rahul at the top of the order.
He reckons the wicketkeeper-batter can provide explosive starts for the team, and has looked in good touch recently as well.
While speaking on his YouTube channel, Harbhajan said:
"According to me, it is necessary that Ishan Kishan be in the playing XI. If he opens with Rohit Sharma, India can have the start which they are currently looking for.
"Kishan is an explosive batsman, will put pressure on any bowler. He is in good form also. He played some good knocks for Mumbai Indians towards the end of IPL and was looking solid in the warm-up game as well."
Ishan Kishan struggled in the middle-order for the Mumbai Indians in this edition of the IPL. He, however, sprung back to life after being promoted at the top of the order and scored two fifties.
Opening alongside KL Rahul in the warm-up contest against England, he remained unbeaten after choosing to walk off after scoring 70.
Catch the latest ICC T20 World Cup live score here.
Pandya should be played even as a pure batter at No.6: Harbhajan Singh
Apart from Ishan Kishan, Harbhajan also feels that Shardul Thakur should be included in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
He believes that Pandya could contribute to the team even while playing as a pure batter, with his skills in the death overs being unparalleled. Harbhajan added:
"If Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma open the innings and Virat Kohli comes in at No.3, KL Rahul can bat at 4 as well. The top 4 will be very solid. Pant should continue at 5.
"Pandya is such a player, that if he finds his groove, he can leave any batsman behind. Pandya should be played even as a pure batsman at No.6. If we speak about the best batsmen in the No.6 and No.7 position, Hardik Pandya's name comes up without question."
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India's five-bowler strategy did not pay off well in their first contest as T20 World Cup 2021 Pakistan squad chased the target with ease, winning by 10 wickets.
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