Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting on Wednesday suggested a small change in India’s T20I lineup as the team began their journey of preparation for the next T20 World Cup, in 2022 in Australia, with the series against New Zealand. Ponting however hailed the rise in emerging talents in India in the format which has been the reason behind seniors finding it difficult to survive in T20Is.
Ponting, during his interview with The Grade Cricketer, said that India can try one of the younger talents in the middle order if all-rounder Hardik Pandya is not bowling. His fitness issue, which has been the reason behind him not bowling for the major part of 2021, led to the selectors dropping him for the New Zealand series at home after the T20 World Cup.
“They had Ishan Kishan and Suryakymar Yadav in the squad, they are starting to bring a few younger guys in. Shreyas Iyer, he was one of the emergencies [sic] around the squad but you are not going to push Rohit Sharma out, Virat out or KL Rahul out. They have got Hardik Pandya in there, maybe if he’s not bowling, they can use one of those younger blokes in the middle order but yeah there’s just so many of them. So many good young players that when one of their senior guys doesn’t go well you think ‘Better put these young blokes in’ but yeah, they have got too many that’s why these questions come up,” he said.
India have called the young Venkatesh Iyer as a replacement for Hardik in the series against New Zealand. He did make a debut in the opener, but did not get an opportunity to bowl and scored 4 off 2 while batting.
The Australian legend and a two-time ODI World Cup-winning skipper also explained that an exhaustive 2021 schedule was the reason behind India suffering an early exit in the T20 World Cup.
“Yeah, I think, they were just exhausted. I mean, their run, what they have had – you’ve got to understand where they have been. There whole country has been in lockdown and the last year’s IPL in the UAE, they played their domestic cricket at home, then went to England in between then straight into another bubble in the UAE, played there and then straight into the World Cup. Now they’ve got New Zealand two days after the World Cup,” he added.