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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Title favourite India has suffered a humiliating 10-wicket loss against arch-rivals Pakistan in the ongoing T20 World Cup and they have to beat New Zealand in their forthcoming crucial tie at any cost to keep them afloat in the high-voltage tournament.

Speculations are rife that the team management could tweak the playing XI for the do or die game against the Kiwis. However, sources said that the dressing room is far from being stirred up by the shocking defeat and the team think tank has made up their mind to go with the same line-up.

Former 'Captain Cool' MS Dhoni is currently in the think tank as a mentor. His successful Chennai Super Kings (CSK) template of not tinkering with the team combination after just one loss is likely to be continued with Team India as well. There may be one or two odd changes in the extreme case if someone is not fit enough to feature against the Black Caps.

MS will have a big saying over the permutations and combinations on team line-up and it is unlikely that there will be any tweak in the outfit.

Given the situation, Shardul Thakur will have to wait for some more time to replace all-rounder Hardik Pandya in the playing XI. Some of the experts are of the opinion that Shardul is a wicket-taker, but at times, he could be expensive and leak runs--which has gone against his favour. Besides, the No.7 batting order is also too high for the inexperienced lower-order batsman.

The good news is that Hardik has started bowling in the nets and he is feeling the pressure to perform as a genuine all-rounder as fans are understandably getting a bit impatient with him.

If fully fit, mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy is likely to perform well against the Kiwis. It's not fully evident whether the team think tank is keen to tinker with the slow bowling combination by bringing in experienced off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for the crucial game.
 

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