The Tokyo Olympics will be the most important sporting event in 2021. Although the upcoming Olympics will not include cricket, there are calls for the game to be recognized in the next edition of the competition. If it happens, there is the likelihood that the T10 format will be employed in Olympics. On that note, if T10 Cricket had been part of the Tokyo Olympics, Team India’s playing XI would have been an interesting case.
In this article, we talk about how India would have lined up if Tokyo Olympics had T10 format. While the rules are still the same, the T10 format is all about urgency and who takes the onus first. With IPL, India has plenty of players who would also do well in this format of the game.
Openers: Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant (WK)
In the T10 format, the best hitters in your squad must open the batting. It does not matter if that player is used to opening or not. If he can strike the ball from the first attempt, he will be qualified to do the job. However, at the same time, the batting depth and the left-right combination must also be kept in mind. Considering all these factors, an opening combination of Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant would be perfect for Team India. While Rohit is experienced and a prolific six-hitter, Pant has his unorthodox ways of launching the ball over the boundary.
Backups: KL Rahul and Prithvi Shaw
Middle-Order: Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson and Virat Kohli (C)
Hardik Pandya must bat at No.3 if T10 cricket materializes. Also, in this format, Hardik will be used as a pure batsman as his bowling may not be suited very much. After Hardik, Suryakumar Yadav can be a good option. Someone who has done in T20’s in recent years, SKY has got the ability to take on the bowlers right from the start. Sanju Samson can slot into the middle-order of this XI as the batsman who shall provide quick cameos on a consistent basis. Freed from the chain of conversion, Sanju can be exceptional in this format.
If T10 Cricket had been part of the Tokyo Olympics, no way Virat Kohli would have missed the flight. His brand value is immense, and for this reason alone, he would have made it to the squad. Anyway, he is a superb timer of the ball, and as seen in many rain-curtailed games for RCB, Virat can excel in a shortened version of the game, too.
Backups: Ishan Kishan and Dinesh Karthik
All-Rounders: Ravindra Jadeja
All-rounders will not be much in the picture in this format. With just ten overs, six batsmen are sufficient. Five specialist bowlers will be the need of the hour. That said, for India, Jaddu would be the best spin option in this version. He is accurate, and that helps in T10 matches. Of course, he is an amazing fielder and a great batsman, too.
Backups: Axar Patel, Harshal Patel and K Gowtham
Bowlers: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Varun CV, Jasprit Bumrah and T Natarajan
Death overs start from the first ball in this format. Hence, any bowler wanting to excel in T10 games must be able to ace yorkers and should also have good variations up his sleeve. For India, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and T Natarajan can be the candidates. All of them have proved at the death in the past. In the spin department, someone who is difficult to hit is necessary. Varun CV is the right option for this role. Hence, he will feature in the playing XI if T10 Cricket had been part of the Tokyo Olympics.
Backups: Rahul Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Deepak Chahar and Avesh Khan