With India's exit from the ICC T20 World Cup, certain issues were raised. While some were concerned with the form of top players on the side, the fitness of some players was a concern too.
Yes, you got it right. Hardik Pandya's place in the team was questioned after he didn't look in his best physical shape but was backed to feature in the crucial World Cup games. So today, let's discuss India's possible options at the no.6 spot.
Before that, if we ask you, what is the role of a no.6 batsman? What would you say? It's the kind of role where you want to finish the innings or in today's terms, be the finisher of a side.
India has had the world's best finisher for such a long period, can you guess who it is? Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Captaincy is one thing but Dhoni was also a master of anchoring an innings when needed and also knew how to accelerate towards the end of an innings and finish things off in style.
Hardik Pandya's strike rate - 269.2— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) November 3, 2021
Rishabh Pant's strike rate - 207.6
Outstanding hitting from Pant and Pandya. 🔥#RishabhPant #HardikPandya #India #INDvAFG #T20WorldCup #Cricket pic.twitter.com/iPObpWkYns
That is precisely the role of a no.6 batsman. So today, let's have a look at some possible no.6 alternatives for India.
1) Rishabh Pant
Pant is known for his explosive batting but he often comes under the scanner in situations where you need a calming influence in the middle. On the contrary, the no.6 spot should have a batsman that can literally start from the fifth gear, without consuming any balls.
Rishabh Pant could be that batsman. Pant is strong, can hit the ball well and he could be a great option for India at that spot. We have witnessed a passive Rishabh Pant in his current position I.e at no.5. Maybe at no.6, we'll see Rishabh Pant in his natural element which was actually the reason why he was roped in the national side.
2) Venkatesh Iyer
Arriving soon in 𝙏𝙝𝙖𝙡𝙖𝙞𝙫𝙖𝙧 style 😎— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) November 11, 2021
✋ if you can't wait to see @ivenkyiyer2512 in Team 🇮🇳 colours! #KKR #AmiKKR #INDvNZ #VenkateshIyer pic.twitter.com/vxMfwOMBNS
Yes, you read it right. The Kolkata Knight Riders opener who was no less than a sensation this season, Venkatesh Iyer's position as an opener was not his regular position to bat.
Iyer is known to be a typical no.6 batsman who can come in the middle and slog the bowlers all around the park. He has been doing it very well in the domestic circuit and he could possibly do it for India too sometime in the future. However, the youngster took the challenge well and impressed the world with his batting at the top but his hard-hitting could be more beneficial for India, especially knowing the fact that India won't be short of openers.
What do you think? Will Iyer become India's no.6?
3) Shivam Dube
Another youngster who possesses great potential is this man, Shivam Dube. Dube's height and strength make him an ideal choice as a finisher too and we've seen it on quite a few occasions.
However, Dube hasn't been the most convincing with the bat recently and that could come in his way. Dube is a great hitter and on his day, you'd find it very difficult to stop him. The fact that he bowls too gives him an advantage and India could very well use a finishing batsman who can be a quick bowling option when required. Dube didn't have the best IPL season this time but we'd hope that he would be aware of this looming vacancy in India's batting lineup.
Delighted with my first fifty in #IPL2021 for @rajasthanroyals, even more delighted with a crucial win. Two big games left, we move forward! #hallabol pic.twitter.com/bSF5b20GHi— Shivam Dube (@IamShivamDube) October 3, 2021
4) Ravindra Jadeja
Jadeja’s place in the team hasn't been questioned since the past couple of years and the credit goes to Jadeja himself.
Shutting down all the haters, Jadeja has proven his effectiveness in all three formats of the game and that's the reason why he continues to be a part of the Indian squad in all formats. He is arguably the best fielder in the world, one of the most economical bowlers in every format of the game, and his batting in the limited-overs edition has stepped up too.
He has not only improved his attacking style but he has provided a really good case if he is considered as India's no.6 for the future.
5) Hardik Pandya
Yes. It's still not over for Kung fu Pandya. The fact that we saw him bowling in the last few games of the World Cup meant that things are not the worst and there have been improvements.
Yes, Pandya's form with the ball and bat is where he could be blamed but he has still shown all signs to get back to 100% fitness as soon as possible.
On his day, Hardik Pandya seems like an exceptional batsman who has his way of dealing with the bowlers. Be it a yorker, bouncer, or a slower one, an in-form Hardik can slam all the balls outside the ground. He can still be India's finisher at no.6 but the question is will Pandya regain his peak form once again?
Will he be fit in the future? Well, we'll know soon. What are your thoughts? Who would be your no.6? Let us know your thoughts via your social media accounts. Follow Cricwizz on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more updates. Stay tuned with Cricwizz for the best cricket content.