Six bowlers on a flat wicket would be ideal for Kohli: Agarkar

Former India paceman Ajit Agarkar feels that skipper Virat Kohli would like to go in with six bowlers — three of them seamers — on the relatively flat pitches in the UAE, when India begin their ICC T20 World Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on October 24.

While the batting line-up is more-or-less decided, it’s the bowling department which will need to be tailored to suit the pitch, and Agarkar feels that if the wicket has “something to offer”, Kohli could perhaps take a chance with five bowlers.

“Relatively certain that Virat Kohli would like six-bowling options. If the pitch has something to offer, then you can perhaps take a chance with five bowlers, but if it’s a flat pitch, he would ideally want to go in with six bowlers with three seamers and they have lots of spin options, Agarkar said on Star Sports on Tuesday.

“And Jadeja is an all-rounder whose batting has come out in leaps and bounds. So, you can treat him as one of the top-order batsmen. So, my six options — if Hardik Pandya is not to bowl — would be Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, Ravindra Jadeja, Varun Chakravarthy and Rahul Chahar,” added Agarkar.

India wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel said that by now Kohli would have figured out the combination he would like to have, though he would not have made up his mind on the players who would play.

“I am sure Virat knows his playing XI and probably not the names, but I am sure he knows what combination he wants to go with. To me, the question will be, should you play Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Shardul Thakur.

“Probably Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul to open, Virat at No.3, Suryakumar Yadav at No.4, Rishabh Pant at No. 5, Hardik Pandya — even if he is not bowling, he is picked as someone who can finish the game — Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and the last choice will be between Shardul Thakur and Bhuvneshwar Kumar,” said Patel.