Former cricketer Gautam Gambhir reckons India should go in with an extra bowler in its playing XI for the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in Manchester on Tuesday (July 9).
If Gambhir has things his way, he would drop Dinesh Karthik and continue fielding all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and this time at No.7 so that skipper Virat Kohli has six proper bowling options available up his sleeves.
"India should go in with more bowling options. I would play Ravindra Jadeja in place of Dinesh Karthik as that gives Virat Kohli more bowling options. Also, the number that Jadeja plays at, his batting style is more suited," Gambhir wrote in his column for TOI, before stressing similarities between this semi-final and the one India played against arch-rivals Pakistan in the 2011 edition.
"As I sat down to write the preview of India's semifinal game against New Zealand, my mind rushed back to the 2011 World Cup. Eight years ago, we were playing a World Cup semifinal against Pakistan. The venue was Mohali, one of my favourite places to play cricket."
"I remember the match eve vividly. We were staying at Hotel Taj in Chandigarh. My family had driven down from Delhi to watch the game. For the outside world it was a huge game, game of the tournament and as media billed it, a final before the final. But as a team, we were very calm and assured. And I will tell you why."
Kohli's men topped the points table with seven wins, one loss and a rain-abandoned draw during the league stage. They'll be massive favourites to defeat the Black Caps at Old Trafford.
"I have always believed that if you want to win a multi-nation tournament, you must beat Australia. Back in 2011, we had beaten the Aussies in the quarterfinals. It was a big deal as the Ricky Ponting-led side was extremely formidable. The semifinals against Pakistan was a relatively easier game for us. I think in 2019, the same logic holds good," Gambhir further wrote.
"India has beaten Australia in the league phase and have their tail up by finishing at the top of the table. India has come riding on a winning streak and it is a no-brainer that they have momentum on their side."