Dale Steyn shares India XI for Pak clash in T20 WC. Photograph:( AFP )
Ahead of India's T20 World Cup opener versus Pakistan, Dale Steyn shared his XI for the Men in Blue. In addition, he named their gamechanger.
The T20 World Cup 2021 has commenced in the UAE, from October 17. While the lowly-ranked teams are fighting hard in the qualifiers to grab a spot in the Super 12 round, all eyes are on the high-voltage India-Pakistan clash which will be the respective tournament-opener for both sides in the main draw of the showpiece event.
Ahead of the marquee encounter, many former cricketers and experts of the gentlemen's game have shared their views on the blockbuster face-off, which will take place on October 24 (Sunday) at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai.
Former South Africa speedster Dale Steyn and VVS Laxman, former India Test specialist, were asked to come forward with their respective XIs for Team India for the Pakistan face-off. While Steyn just made one change from Laxman's XI, he also named India's gamechanger. Speaking on Star Sports, Steyn said, "I wouldn't have been able to name it as perfectly as VVS but one change, I would bring in Shami ahead of Bhuvi, just on current form alone. Shami has been doing it quite nicely. Bhuvi is fantastic but on current form I would go with Shami in this side."
"Look, he's a game-changer. That's the big thing. He is a gamechanger whether he’s got bat or ball in his hand, specifically with that bat actually. He hasn't bowled a lot lately, at all to be honest. I would pick him purely on his batting alone. After the current form that he has had, it's a bit touch and go but he is a fantastic player. And teams will know that. So, when he comes out to bat, teams would have to prepare accordingly because Hardik Pandya can take the game away from you quite easily with the bat," the former speedster-turned-commentator added.
Laxman's India XI: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy
Steyn's India XI: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy
For the unversed, India are placed in Pool B along with Babar Azam-led Pakistan, New Zealand and Afghanistan whereas two more teams will join them from the qualifiers. Virat Kohli-led Men in Blue will aim to keep their winning streak alive versus Pakistan and start well in the 16-team competition.