Former India wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta has suggested an interesting option to solve the side's sixth-bowler conundrum in the T20 World Cup. With Hardik Pandya unable to bowl his quota of overs, Dasgupta has backed Virat Kohli to contribute a couple of overs with the ball. He opined that Kohli should look to bring himself in right after the powerplay or before the death overs.
Dasgupta feels that Kohli should look to specifically bowl the 7th or the 13th over of the innings given that these two overs yield the least number of runs statistically. While speaking on his YouTube channel, Dasgupta said:
"Virat Kohli's bowling could be an option if needed, if you're thinking outside the box. Virat Kohli himself must be careful as to when he introduces himself into the attack like in the 7th or the 13th over. Generally, if you look at the statistics, these two overs do not go for many runs."
Virat Kohli bowled two overs in the warm-up fixture against Australia. He has previously bowled in the T20 World Cup as well. He rolled his arm over in the semi-final clash against West Indies in 2016, taking the wicket of Johnson Charles in the process.
No.7 might be one step ahead for Shardul Thakur: Dasgupta
The prospect of Hardik Pandya being unable to bowl has brought up several questions regarding the team combination. One such option is the introduction of Shardul Thakur, who is coming off a stellar Test campaign in England and a notable second leg of the IPL as well.
Dasgupta reckons that Thakur is ideal to play at No.8, but is unsure of his ability to play one spot higher. He added:
"Shardul Thakur according to me, is more suited to batting at No.8 but No.7 might be one step ahead for him. If India are going with 5 bowlers, I think 3 of them should be pacers. It gives the side a lot more flexibility while using Chakravarthy and Bumrah's overs."
Thakur has proven his caliber when it comes to batting in the longest format, but the demands and skillset required for T20 cricket is another challenge altogether. His knack of picking up wickets at crucial intervals makes him an asset, but his inclusion will mean the axing of either Bhuvneshwar Kumar's experience or Hardik Pandya's finesse.