Former Indian captain Rahul Dravid believes that Virat Kohli should play with the same team in the final against Pakistan on Sunday that got the nine-wicket win against Bangladesh in the semis. Team India are all set to face their arch-rivals after registering a thumping victory over Bangladesh on Sunday. Both the teams last played a final in 2007 ICC World T20.
“I think Virat has to stick to what’s worked well for him. India loves chasing, we saw that today. They have got some really experienced players who have played in big pressure games, they know how to handle these kind of situations and I think this is a tactic that works for them,” he said as part of an analyst for ESPNCricinfo.
“People might question why are you only getting 4.8 run average in the first 10 but you know that’s how they like to set up their innings with Rohit (Sharma) and Shikhar (Dhawan), knowing fully well that they have got the power at the back end of the likes of you know, Hardik Pandya, (MS) Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, (Ravindra) Jadeja,” Dravid said.
“So you know they have got some big power that can make up a lot of runs in the end as well, as long as they can keep wickets in hand, they play spin well through the middle as well. So look, I won’t change anything, India’s batting has been exceptional,” he added.
Dravid believes if India will be put in to bat first they will have to score 280-plus where Jadhav and Pandya would play a huge role in the lower-middle order. “I think if you get Pakistan chasing in the final, anything above 280, you would be happy. Look if we have the batsmen in hand, and they do play the extra batsman, Kedar Jadhav, at 6 and they have Hardik Pandya at 7 and they have shown that he can be pushed up a little bit,” he said.
“It will be a case of pushing one of up through the middle, Jadhav is a very good player against spin we know that, he does take it on. And if you are in that position, I guess you could do that, push Pandya or Jadhav ahead of even Yuvraj and Dhoni and have a crack,” Dravid added.
From Pakistan’s perspective, Dravid feels that senior players like Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez will have to play a huge role if Pakistan has to have any chance of dominating against India in the final.
“It’s a fantastic final. I guess Pakistan have something to prove, that they can put up a better performance than they did at the start of the tournament. They are going to need people like Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez, their two most experienced players to really step up if they want to win this game,” Dravid said.
Dravid also expressed his views on Pakistan bowling, “You know they’ve probably learned from the last time they played India, in that they didn’t take wickets and India hurt them really badly in the last seven or eight overs, so they can’t afford to let that happen again.
“One of the nice things about Hasan Ali is the length that he bowls. He pitches the ball up, he gets people to drive and I think that’s one of the reasons, in these kind of conditions, he takes wickets,” he concluded.