According to former India batter Suresh Raina, the top three hold the key for India with the bat in the T20 World Cup and help them gain momentum. He also backed spinners to come good in the competition hosted by India in UAE and Oman.
“For me, the key to success for India's batting lies in the top three. Rohit Sharma is a gun player - he has a brilliant record at ICC events in the past and had a great IPL,” Raina wrote in his column for the ICC.
“We need Rohit, KL Rahul and Virat to bat through to 15 overs and lay the platform. They can set the momentum for the India team by doing this.”
“There are lots of electric combinations in the middle order and obviously Rishabh Pant is going to play a key role there. Hardik Pandya is also very capable as a power hitter,” he added.
“But if the top three are still there at that stage of the innings, there is no target that India can't chase.”
India begin their T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan next Sunday. Raina felt India could have the edge given that the players were involved in the IPL.
“All of our players have just played the Indian Premier League in the UAE and they have played themselves into top form with eight or nine games in this environment,” wrote Raina.
“This gives India an edge on all other teams and makes them one of the big favourites to win the T20 World Cup in my opinion. The conditions in UAE are very similar to what we play India and also in Pakistan. It's a good opportunity for the Asian teams to come and play their natural game.”
Raina, speaking from experience, said that spin could play an important role in the tournament and picked Varun Charkavarthy as India’s main man.
“My experience in the IPL was that the wickets in UAE and Oman will be very, very challenging when it comes to the mystery spinners. That makes Varun Chakravarthy the main guy in the India bowling attack. He has showed he can exploit the pace of the pitches,” added Raina, who retired from international cricket in 2020.
“Varun has only played three T20Is but I'm not concerned by any lack of experience. There is plenty of experience in this team, particularly in the seam attack.”
“Bhuvneshwar Kumar in particular leads the way when it comes to experience and knowledge of how to deal with the big games. The inclusion of Shardul Thakur can also give extra strength to the fast bowlers that Virat has at his disposal,” he concluded.
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