“I don’t see any top-order batters…”: Former Pakistan Captain’s Shocking Advice To Indian Team Management

Team India’s recent ODI series win over West Indies was marred by controversies and criticisms on social media. The decision to rest captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli after just one match raised eyebrows, especially since they didn’t even bat in that game despite India facing a paltry target. The team’s batting order decisions, like sending Sanju Samson at 3 and Axar Patel at 4 in the second ODI, were also heavily criticized.

Former Pakistani captain Salman Butt joined the chorus of criticism, expressing concerns about India’s struggles against spinners in recent times. He also questioned the constant changes in the playing XI, emphasizing the importance of stability and clarity of roles before the upcoming World Cup. Butt suggested that if India wants to experiment with combinations, they should do so with an A team instead of mixing up the main squad.

“In recent history, they haven’t been playing spinners quite well. They’re traditionally solid against spinners, but you don’t see that control now. It needs to be addressed. Secondly, there are too many changes on every tour. It’s about time, before the World Cup, that you know your 15, and every player knows his role. And the team plays like that,” Butt said on his official YouTube channel.

Butt further opined on possible changes to the Indian ODI squad, suggesting that experienced players like Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane should be considered for selection ahead of marquee tournaments like the Asia Cup and the World Cup. Dhawan and Rahane have been away from the white-ball setup for some time, but their recent IPL and domestic cricket performances have caught Butt’s attention.

Butt added, “If you want to give someone rest, and try different combinations, send an A team itself. Let all players rest. If half of the first-XI players are there and half are not, you can’t say it’s your main team. Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill.. no one is new. They have double centuries in ODIs, centuries in IPL.”

He praised Rahane’s IPL performances and highlighted the need for experienced players in the middle order to handle pressure situations. Butt also emphasized the importance of Dhawan’s expertise as an opener, suggesting that Dhawan or young talent Shubman Gill could open the batting alongside Rohit Sharma.

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“The way Rahane played in IPL and returned in Tests, he is a possible option, and they will need Shikhar Dhawan. I don’t see any top-order batters, among right-handers, who can open as well as him. Shikhar and Shubman (Gill) can open, and Rohit comes one down, or Rohit can open with Shikhar. They need experience in World Cup. They also need a guy in at no.5/6; it’s Rahul or Rahane. When there’s pressure, the youngsters stutter. You need experience; the pressure gets to you,” said Butt.

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