Virat Kohli and India will head into the game a defeat against New Zealand this weekend could very well end their hopes of making the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup. The Men in Blue suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of arch-rivals Pakistan, and the 2007 T20 World Cup champions will have their work cut out in what is a do or die match. With the game of such importance, Virat Kohli and Co. could make some changes to the XI, and the return of Ishan Kishan, to counter the left-arm pacer threat could be looked up as an option.
Team India struggled against the left-arm pace of Shaheen Afridi in their opener and will have their task cut out against another nemesis in Trent Boult. The New Zealand pacer has bagged 71 wickets against India in all formats, with 51 of those coming against right-handers. With the Men in Blue being a predominantly right-handed batting unit, Virat Kohli could opt for a change with Ishan Kishan waiting in the wings.
Rishabh Pant is the only Indian batter in the top 6 who is left-handed and the addition of Kishan, who is well versed in facing the new ball will be a wise move to make for Virat Kohli. The Mumbai Indians star is in sublime form as well, having scored 50s in his last three innings, including the practice game against England. His swashbuckling instincts and ability to clear the boundary with ease will also help with the scoring rate in the middle overs, with India having hit a rut in the game against Pakistan.
- Trent Boult has been India’s nemesis over the years, and following Shaheen Afridi’s assault, the Kiwi pacer will be smacking his lips.
- India only have Rishabh Pant as a left-handed batter in their top 6.
- Ishan Kishan replacing Suryakumar Yadav adds variety to the line-up, and is in fine form, scoring 50s in his last three innings.
- Kishan strikes at 157.66 vs left-arm pacers and has hit 13 sixes in 23 innings.
- Kishan and Boult are teammates at Mumbai Indians, meaning that the left-hander is well accustomed to playing the left-arm seamer.
- The Mumbai Indians star also adds to India’s lack of quick runs in the middle overs, a problem that cost them the game against Pakistan.
Kishan could replace Suryakumar Yadav in the side, who has struggled for form in recent months. Yadav had a dismal IPL 2021 and did not make much impact during the warm-up matches, before being cheaply dismissed during the game against Pakistan. Kishan’s inclusion not only adds variety, but his record against left-arm pace is something that is worth considering.