T20 WC: Get batting combination right, Pathan advises India


Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has advised the Indian team to get its batting combination right ahead of its third match in the ICC T20 World Cup against Afghanistan on Wednesday.

He added that the pitch in Abu Dhabi, where India will play outside Dubai for the first time in the tournament, has more pace which means that ball will come nicely on to the bat.

India, yet to open their account in Group 2, now are required to win all three of their remaining matches in Super 12 in order to have a chance in qualifying for the semifinals, starting from the one against Afghanistan.

During the eight-wicket loss to New Zealand on Sunday, India had rejigged its batting order at the top, with Ishan Kishan opening alongside KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma dropping to number three. The move backfired as India were able to score just 110/7 in 20 overs, which was comfortably chased down by New Zealand in 14.3 overs.

“First of all, get the batting combination right, get the proper guys at the proper position like Rohit Sharma batting up the order and then once he gets set then it’s a different thing. With the Abu Dhabi pitch, you get more turns but the good thing is the pitch has more pace as well which means it will come nicely onto the bat and this is what the Indian team needs to be aware of,” Pathan said on Gameplan show on Star Sports.

Pathan, who was the player of the match in the 2007 Men’s T20 World Cup final won by India, was of the opinion that players like Sharma, KL Rahul and captain Virat Kohli will enjoy playing in Abu Dhabi due to the bounce in the pitch.

“They don’t need to worry about what happened in Dubai, they don’t need to be worried about what’s happening in Sharjah as far the pitch is concerned where the ball doesn’t come onto the bat. It’s a good cricketing pitch, so you need to enjoy that bounce, and I think guys like Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli will cherish this and they will enjoy.

“If they just believe in their own timing, spend a bit more time and get the opening sorted, then they don’t need to worry about the quality spinners that we were talking about, they can face any spinner or fast bowler but they just need to spend more time,” concluded Pathan.–IANS