Harbhajan suggests changes on India’s playing 11 ahead of New Zealand WC clash

Sanjay Manjrekar doubts Hardik Pandya's Form
Hardik Pandya (Image; BCCI)

The former Indian player Harbhajan Singh was named a replacement for the injured Hardik Pandya in the match against New Zealand in the ICC World Cup 2023.

Harbhajan suggests changes on India’s playing 11 

New Zealand and India have four consecutive victories in the World Cup 2023 and the upcoming match will decide the table topper in the ICC event. With the All-rounder Hardik Pandya injured during the match against Afghanistan, he will be sidelined for India’s next match.

With India to face a crucial match, the absence of the all-rounder has created concerns about the batting lineup. On this occasion, Harbhajan Singh names some suggestions in the playing 11.

“It’s a big issue for India if Hardik Pandya is not fit. He sets our combination and if he doesn’t play then you will have to change it. You can either play Ishan Kishan or Suryakumar Yadav as a pure batter. We are playing Shardul Thakur because of his all-rounder abilities. I think you should bring Mohammed Shami in his place as he can give you a solid 10 overs,” said Harbhajan.

“However, if Shami plays, he will bowl his 10 overs for sure. (Jasprit) Bumrah and (Mohammed) Siraj will also bowl their 10 overs, and both your spinners are bowling well in any case. So I feel these changes should happen.”

India has to choose between Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan as replacements. Despite Ishan Kishan performing well in the middle order, India might go with Suryakumar for the No.6 batter.

The clash will be India’s biggest test in this World Cup. India have been impressive in the tournament so far. Jasprit Bumrah helped the side during the crucial times and the spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja dismissed middle orders to restrict them to low-par totals.

On the other hand, Sanjay Bangar pointed out that Hardik Pandya’s absence will change Rohit Sharma’s plans.

“When an all-rounder goes out, it is not possible for Rohit to play according to his plans, because he wants depth at No. 8. We don’t have any such all-rounders who have the ability to replace him,” he said.

He also said Axar Patel is not in the squad and also spoke on Harbhajan’s views regarding the team changes.

“Axar Patel is also sitting out. When (Ravindra) Jadeja got injured, the team had difficulties. Whenever Hardik is unavailable, the team has to play with only five bowlers. I totally agree with what Bhajji said. Suryakumar Yadav will finish well if he plays at No. 6,” he concluded.

India is scheduled to play in the 21st ICC World Cup match against New Zealand on October 22 at HPCA stadium.