Sanjay Manjrekar selects India’s playing XI for the T20 World Cup 2024

Jun 1, 2024

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As the T20 World Cup 2024 approaches, discussions on the squads of each team are taking center stage in the cricketing world. Analyzing India‘s squad for the marquee event, former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar shared his views on the ideal playing XI.

India’s opening pair and top order

Manjrekar, speaking at the Star Sports Press Room – T20 World Cup Edition, highlighted his preference for the opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. Despite acknowledging the potential of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Manjrekar stated that the presence of Kohli and Sharma necessitates this combination. He explained that Kohli’s value diminishes if he bats at number three and that Rohit also needs to open. This decision forces India to stick with two right-handed openers, sidelining the young and promising Jaiswal.

“When you look at the batting order, you can see how it pans out. Opening pair: Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli. Unfortunately, there’s no place for Yashasvi Jaiswal because Virat will not bat at number three; that’s a reality we have embraced. I would have loved to have Jaiswal if there were no Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, and we could go with a young opening pair. But that’s not going to happen, so Jaiswal has to sit out. Manjrekar said.

Also READ: T20 World Cup 2024: Broadcast, Live Streaming details – Where to watch in India, Pakistan, USA, UK, Canada & other countries

Middle order for T20 World Cup 2024

For the middle order, Manjrekar suggested Suryakumar Yadav at number three, followed by Rishabh Pant. He emphasized the importance of Pant, a big-match player, in India’s lineup. Manjrekar believed Pant should don the India colors early in the tournament to build his confidence and leverage his ability to perform under pressure. Pant’s inclusion is crucial as India has historically struggled in the knockout stages of ICC events.

“At number three, you could have Suryakumar Yadav and then Rishabh Pant. I would start with Rishabh Pant as the wicketkeeper-batter. I want Pant to get into those India colours very early in the tournament because he is a big-match player. India’s problem in ICC events has been winning the semis or finals, and they need their big-match players to be feeling good. We know enough about Rishabh Pant; he’s a big stage, big pressure, big player,” the Mumbai-born cricketer added.


In the all-rounder department, Manjrekar advocated for Hardik Pandya. Alongside Pant, Hardik Pandya, another vital player, is expected to bolster the middle order with his batting and finishing skills. Pandya’s versatility as a batter and bowler makes him indispensable, while Shivam Dube adds depth with his dual abilities. Both players offer balance to the team, contributing in both batting and bowling departments.

“Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant are the players India have to invest heavily in. That’s how I would go. Hardik Pandya will be the sixth bowler. Lack of all-rounders is a bit of a weakness for Team India. If you look at Australia, their batters like Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, and Cameron Green can bowl four overs in a match. I think that’s why the Indian team has brought Shivam Dube into the side to mitigate the limitations that come with a lack of all-rounders,” the 58-year-old stated.


Manjrekar’s ideal XI includes three seamers: Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj. Bumrah, known for his lethal pace and accuracy, is the spearhead of the attack. Arshdeep brings variety with his left-arm pace, while Siraj’s recent form makes him a crucial part of the seam attack.

For the spin department, Manjrekar selected Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav. Jadeja’s all-round skills and fielding prowess make him a valuable asset, and Kuldeep’s wrist spin adds a different dimension to the bowling attack. This combination of seam and spin bowlers provides a balanced attack capable of adapting to various conditions.

“Three seamers: Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Siraj. Two spinners: Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav,” Manjrekar concluded.

Also READ: T20 World Cup 2024: Team India’s captain Rohit Sharma provides his first impression of cricket facilities in New York

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