T20 World Cup: Laxman picks his India playing XI for clash against Pakistan

Ahead of India’s opening match against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup, former India batter VVS Laxman has predicted his playing XI for the Virat Kohli-led side for the high-octane clash on October 24.

While picking his team, Laxman gave a miss to few usual names and came up with few surprises. Starting with openers, he didn’t include Ishan Kishan, who impressed everyone with his blistering knock in their warm-up match against England.

Instead, the former cricketer went with experienced pair of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma as his openers.

“They [India] are spoilt for choices. But I will go with Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul to open. No. 3 will be Virat Kohli, No. 4 will be Suryakumar Yadav, No. 5 Rishabh Pant, No. 6 Hardik Pandya, No. 7 will be Ravindra Jadeja, No. 8 will be Bhuvneshwar Kumar, No. 9 will be Bumrah,” Laxman told Star Sports.

For numbers 10 and 11, the cricketer-turned-commentator decided to go with Varun Chakravarthy and Rahul Chahar.

Interestingly, he did not include Ravichandran Ashwin in his playing XI. The off-spinner had a good match against England and Australia as he managed to pick two wickets and also had a decent economy.

“No. 10 and No. 11 will be two spinners, Varun Chakravarthy and Rahul Chahar,” he said.

Justifying his line-up, Laxman backed top seven batters to score plenty of runs. “It’s a long tail but I will back the top seven to get the bulk of the runs,” he said.

Notably, the ICC events are the only opportunity for the arch rivals India and Pakistan to play against each other on a cricket field as the two countries have not played bilateral cricket since the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November 2008.

And historically, Pakistan have never tasted success against India either in ODI or T20 World Cup games.