ANI Photo | “Will miss Rinku in T20 WC, choosing four spinners is little too much”: Harbhajan Singh

Giving his thoughts on India’s ICC T20 World Cup 2024 squad, Former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh said that the team will miss middle-order batter Rinku Singh and including four spinners in the squad is a little too much.
The T20 World Cup will start on June 1 and will be played in venues in the USA and the Caribbean till June 29. Rinku has not made it to the main squad but is included in the reserves.
Speaking to ANI on Monday, Harbhajan said, ” The World Cup team has been selected. The batting is good. I think we are one fast bowler short. One player that I think we will miss is Rinku Singh, because he is someone who can win the match single-handedly for us. He can chase down 60 runs in 20 balls. I think selecting four spinners is a bit too much. Three would have been enough. I wish the Team India all the best, hope they bring the cup.”
He also said that he does not think India will ever field four spinners in a game.
“I do not think we will ever play four spinners in a game. Ravindra Jadeja will play. Maybe Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal will play with him. Maybe we will field three spinners in a game. We will get to know the combo on seeing the conditions,” he said.
Rinku made his T20 debut in 2023 against Ireland, following that he has played 15 matches and 11 innings in which he scored 356 runs at an average of 89.00 and a strike rate of 176.24. The left-handed batter played his last 20-over match for India against Afghanistan in January 2024.
However, with just 168 runs in 11 innings at an average of 18.66 and a best score of 26, Rinku’s IPL 2024 has been a disappointment and can be due to either lack of form or lack of opportunities down the order due to fine performances of the top order.
Harbhajan said that the real tournament will start in West Indies for India during the Super Eight phase when India will get to play big teams like Australia, New Zealand, etc but the group stage clash with Pakistan on June 9 at New York could set the momentum for India.
“I am sure we will win against Pakistan, we have a great track record against them and have a better team,” he added.
The former spinner also said that though Delhi Capitals (DC) skipper and India’s star wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant performed well on his return to competitive cricket after a road accident, Sanju Samson, who has been captaining Rajasthan Royals (RR) should get a chance.
“Rishabh Pant played well in the IPL. He has come out of his injuries. He looked fit, batted well and did some nice wicketkeeping. But Sanju played really well. I would like to see him get a chance. He has been performing consistently. He has been scoring 60s and 70s and is not the old Sanju anymore who would score just 30s and 40s. But there has been no hurry in bringing Pant back, he worked really hard. I hope he does something special for India,” he said.
Pant was great for the Capitals in the tournament, scoring 446 runs at an average of 40.54 in 13 innings and a strike rate of 155.40. He also scored three fifties, with the best score of 88*. He was also electric behind the wickets, taking some stunning catches and carrying out great stumpings.
Samson on the other hand, is enjoying his best IPL season. In 13 innings, he has scored 504 runs at an average of 56.00 and a strike rate of 156.52, with five half-centuries. His best score is 86.
India will begin their T20 World Cup campaign against Ireland on June 5 at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, New York, followed by the marquee clash against Pakistan on June 9 at the same venue. India will then play the USA and Canada on June 12 and 15 respectively.
India squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Siraj
Reserves: Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Khaleel Ahmed and Avesh Khan. (ANI)

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