The debate surrounding India’s prospective roster or optimum XI for the 2022 T20 World Cup has heated up now that the five-match home series against South Africa is done. Veterans and experts in the field have started to weigh in, with former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan among the first to select his finest India XI for the next event in Australia.

Former cricketers have struggled with picking their XI, unsure whether to go with reputation and experience or go with the youthful and aggressive Ishan Kishan at the top of the order. Who will be the team’s wicketkeeper? What bowling combination will you use? When asked to announce his XI on Star Sports after the fifth T20I between India and South Africa was called off due to rain in Bengaluru, Irfan was confident and quick to react.

“Because the ball swings and seams a lot in Australia, you need a strong start.” As a result, you need a guy with a lot of experience,” he added, naming KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli as the top-order line-up. While Kohli’s recent form in the shorter format has been a source of worry, as seen by his performance during the IPL 2022 season, Irfan encouraged the former India captain, citing his history of hitting huge runs in Australia.

“Kohli may not have played well so far, but he has scored a lot of runs in Australia,” he remarked. Suryakumar Yadav was Irfan’s fourth choice, followed by Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, and Ravindra Jadeja. One more spinner and three pacers make up his bowling lineup.

Here is Irfan Pathan’s India XI for the 2022 T20 World Cup: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah