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T20 World Cup: Vikram Rathour backs Axar’s inclusion over Kuldeep Yadav against Ireland


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Shillong, June 6: India batting coach Vikram Rathour said Axar Patel’s inclusion over Kuldeep Yadav in the playing eleven against Ireland was based on the conditions at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium here on Sunday. India opted for all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and Patel as spin duo for their T20 World Cup opener on Wednesday. The duo only bowled two overs with Axar getting a wicket in his first over.


Arshdeep Singh and Hardik Pandya only completed their four-over quota while Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj bowled three overs each as India bowled out Ireland for 96 in 16 overs. Pandya clinched three wickets while Arshdeep and Bumrah picked two scalps apiece. Siraj also got hold of a wicket.


“As team management, in a tournament like the World Cup, all 15 are in play. So, depending on what conditions we get and we are playing, we need to have enough flexibility in our team or group to handle that and I think we have that here, Rathour said in the post-match press conference.


“So, looking at the conditions in the morning, we thought that this is the best team we should go within this game. So again, depending on what happens in the next game and what the conditions are and what the situation is, you will keep seeing that we will be flexible with our teams,” he added.


India captain Rohit Sharma struck 37-ball 56 before retiring hurt following a blow to his arm. Rishabh Pant’s unbeaten 36 not out including two sixes and three fours took the side over the line in 12.2 overs.


India will next take on arch-rivals Pakistan in a much-anticipated clash of the tournament at the same venue on Sunday (June 9). (IANS)


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