IND VS NZ: Sunil Gavaskar’s blunt message to team India, if you want to win ‘make two changes in playing XI’

Cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar has sent out a direct message to Virat Kohli & Co ahead of India vs New Zealand. He feels that India should make a couple of changes in form of Ishan Kishan and Shardul Thakur.

He backed in-form Ishan Kishan to play the role of a finisher. With Hardik Pandya still doubtful for his bowling ability, Gavaskar believes Ishan Kishan can be picked as a batsman. He has asked team India to choose Shardul Thakur as a replacement for out-of-form Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

“If Hardik Pandya is not bowling – due to that shoulder injury he sustained in the match against Pakistan – Ishan Kishan has been in brilliant form so I will surely consider him ahead of Pandya. Sunil Gavaskar said on Sports Tak.

Ishan Kishan can play the role of a finisher.

  • With Hardik Pandya struggling to fill in the shoes of a finisher for Team India, Ishan Kishan could be used as a makeshift finisher by Virat Kohli & Co.
  • Hardik managed just 11 runs in the high-octane clash against Pakistan.
  • He has been in tremendous form and could play a crucial role for the Men in Blue in the last few overs.
  • He had earlier finished a match by scoring an unbeaten 20 against Sri Lanka during a T20I in July.
  • The flexible Kishan has also played at No.3 for India with fifty on debut. Thus, he is expected to ace another challenge in the upcoming battle against the Kiwis.

“And perhaps, you can think of Shardul Thakur in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar,” Sunil Gavaskar said.

Why Bhuvneshwar Kumar could be dropped for Shardul Thakur?

  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar has looked completely off-colour in the last 3 matches for India. His ability to pick up wickets seems to have faded away.
  • Vs Pakistan: 0/25, Vs Australia: 1/27, Vs England: 0/54
  • The seamer entered the T20 World Cup with just three wickets under his belt in 6 matches during the UAE leg of IPL 2021.
  • He had last performed during a T20I match where he ended up with 4 wickets against Sri Lanka in July.
  • The 31-year-old’s failure gives in-form Shardul Thakur a possibility to feature in the India Playing XI.
  • Shardul picked 15 wickets in 8 matches during the UAE edition of IPL 2021.
  • He finished the season with 21 wickets and got rewarded with a place in India’s member squad. He was promoted from the reserve players list.

However, Sunil Gavaskar stressed that India should not press the panic button after Match 1.

“Having said that. If you make changes, it will show that the team has panicked. There is no need to panic, because they have a good team. Yes, you’ve lost a match to a good team but that doesn’t mean that going forward, India won’t win the match or win the tournament. If you win the next four matches, you can make it to the semi-final and from there, possibly even the final. So, there is no need to make changes,” Sunil Gavaskar added.