Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin feels that the fifth T20I against England is a big opportunity for youngsters to boost their claims for a spot in the T20 World Cup.
The five-match T20I series between India and England is currently level at 2-2. The decider is set to be played on Saturday at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
On his official Twitter account, ahead of the final T20I, Azharuddin revealed he is keen to see how the young guns perform in the crunch situation. He tweeted:
“Stage is set for youngsters to step up and boost their claims for a place in the T20 World Cup squad later in the year. I am keen to see who all strengthen their claims. Big game this evening.”
The T20 World Cup will be held in India later this year.
Two youngsters have already made their mark in the T20I series against England. While Ishan Kishan hammered a half-century on debut, Suryakumar Yadav also cracked a fifty in his first international innings (in the 2nd T20I).
In fact, Yadav was the man of the match as India defeated England by eight runs in the fourth T20I to square the series. Batting first, India posted a healthy total of 185 for 8. Yadav top-scored with 57 from 31 while Shreyas Iyer hammered 37 from 18. Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant also contributed 30 from 23.
In response, England were held to 177 for 8. Ben Stokes hit a dazzling 46 off 23 and Jason Roy contributed 40 from 27. However, Shardul Thakur (3 for 42), Hardik Pandya (2 for 16) and Rahul Chahar (2 for 35) combined to restrict England and keep India alive in the series.
Sachin Tendulkar backs Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan for T20 World Cup
Another former India captain, Sachin Tendulkar opines that two of the team’s young guns Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan are good enough to be part of India’s T20 World Cup squad.
Speaking to Reuters in a telephone interview, Sachin Tendulkar commented on Kishan and Yadav:
“There is no question how talented both the players are. It eventually boils down to selection and the selection committee. But I can say that having played in the IPL against all the leading foreign players, they are ready to play (in the Twenty20 World Cup).”
The Indian legend added that while Suryakumar Yadav is a fabulous player, Ishan Kishan’s progress over the last year has been remarkable.
The 2021 T20 World Cup will be held in India in October-November.