New Delhi, June 3: As Team India sweat it out in the nets ahead of their opening campaign in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, experts and fans are busy speculating about Men In Blue's starting eleven at Southampton on June 5.
While many feel India skipper Virat Kohli would start with his wrist-spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal - who were in tremendous form against South Africa last year, there are afew who think the Indian team management would start with Chahal and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.
Former Australia cricketer Michael Clarke - who lifted the 2015 World Cup for his country - while answering on the impact of India's wrist-spin duo of Kuldeep and Chahal at the India Today's Salam Cricket show, said he believes that Kohli will go with Chahal and Jadeja for the latter is a wonderful batsman and an athletic fielder.
"I actually think India would go with Chahal and Jadeja. I think India will pick Jadeja because of his extra batting. He scored a fifty in the practice game so I think the starting (India) XI will leave Kuldeep Yadav out which is a big call but conditions would favour this move as well.
"I was covering this game between Australia and Afghanistan and watched Adam Zampa bowl. One thing about bowling spin here in England conditions, you get consistent bounce and pace. So when you face spin in India for example, that length (on which) you get LBW sometimes here in UK can actually get pulled and get back in cuts. So I think Zampa found out pretty difficult in that game as well due to the extra bounce that was in Bristol. So I think, probably that's what India would be thinking, they now would be looking for accuracy and the batting depth. So I think they'll go with a wrist spinner in Chahal and go with Jadeja as the second tweaker," the former Aussie added further.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain who was also present in the event threw his insights about the role of wrist-spinners in the multi-nation tournament.
Asked if the wrist spin of Chahal and Kuldeep can have a major bearing in this World Cup for India, 51-year-old cricketer-turned-commentator said, "It's all relative, I think the days of a spinner running up and bowling all 10 overs was 4/30 or something like the great Shane Warne or Harbhajan Singh or something like that have gone. Because I think with the fielding restrictions, the pitches, the skill of the batsmen, the 360-degree batting, the ball staying hard (have changed).
"I think if you now have bowled 3/60, you have made a serious impact on that game. So stats of the India wrist spinners are better. I think wrist spin has a big role to play. With so much of crackdown on the action a lot of mystery spinners who used to spin both ways and bowl the doosras have been taken out of the game, even someone like (Sunil) Narine has gone out of the game internationally as he can't bowl a lot of varieties. So I think, spin will have a huge impact in this World Cup. The only difference between this (World Cup) and previous Champions Trophies (held) in England (in 2013 and 2017) is that the pitches will stay pretty good and there won't be as many used pitches this time."
When asked which four teams, according to him, would make it to the semis, Hussain picked up five teams in contention.
"I think right now five teams look in contention for the semi-finals. England, Australia, India, New Zealand and West Indies. West Indies are the real dark horse in this tournament," said India-born Hussain.