Hardik Pandya snubbed as Agarkar's 'four spinners' T20WC call questioned ahead of India's warm-up match against Bangladesh


Indian captain Rohit Sharma's strategic approach was evident in his selection of four spinners – all-rounders Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja, and wrist-spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal – for the T20 World Cup. This decision, announced at the end of April, raised many questions. However, as the team prepared for their warm-up match against Bangladesh at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York, Rohit and chairman of selectors Ajit Agarkar were faced with a new verdict on their T20 World Cup call.

Ajit Agarkar Received New Verdict on India's T20 World Cup Selection

Sunil Subramanian, former India coach and Tamil Nadu left-arm spinner, who is also a coach R Ashwin, offered a compelling perspective. He suggests that India may have included one spinner too many in the World Cup squad. His proposal to drop the vice-captain Hardik Pandya for left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed and Axar for middle-order batter Rinku Singh is based on the belief that this would have brought better balance to the side.

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“India may have picked one spin-bowling all-rounder too many. Rinku Singh for Axar and Khaleel Ahmed for vice-captain Hardik would have balanced the team better. There's no way both wrist players are playing, especially in Nassau County, New York. It's a Mickey Mouse pitch with a straight boundary of just 55 yards. Additionally, this is a walk-in location. Against Pakistan, they might play with just one player and it might be Jadeja as they might want to pack the team with pacers who can execute yorkers,” he told The Times of India.

One of the important aspects of the Indian team selection for the World Cup was the return of the famous 'KulCha' combination, as the duo of Kuldeep and Chahal is called. They have played 15 T20I matches together, including all four matches on the West Indies tour last year. While India will be hoping both men bring the same level of success, Subramanian does not see the two featuring in the same XI at the World Cup.

“Only if they find themselves in an unavoidable situation. If Hardik is unable to bowl four overs and one of the pacers gets hit, it could happen. But only during the West Indian part of the tournament. The only other way to bowl with both wrists is to drop Jaiswal and open with Kohli and Rohit. They won't. They will exercise caution,” Subramanian explained.

While these remarks only add to the existing speculation around Agarkar's strategy, only time will tell if India were actually right to pick four players for the World Cup.

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