Gautam Gambhir Questions Virat Kohli’s Tactics In The First ODI: India’s ace all-rounder Hardik Pandya gave a stunning performance with the bat in the first ODI match against Australia. It was his first international game since September 2019 and after a productive IPL season, he surely deserved a place in the playing XI. However, he played as a specialist batsman only.
Not the best way to start a tour but glad to have got the chance to spend some time in the middle. Onwards and upwards 💪 pic.twitter.com/JuFnvTAukV
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) November 27, 2020
Former Indian cricketer and World Cup hero Gautam Gambhir suggested that a half-fit Hardik Pandya has made the current Indian ODI side lack balance and a sixth bowling option for the team.
Gambhir weighed upon the fact whether Pandya deserves a place in the playing XI, especially when a batsman like Manish Pandey is kept out. In the just-concluded edition of the IPL, Manish Pandey scored over 400 runs for Sunrisers Hyderabad, whereas Hardik Pandya scored 274 runs for Mumbai Indians. In a video posted by ESPNCricinfo, Gambhir said:
“Big time and this has been happening what – since the last World Cup. If Hardik is not fit [to bowl], where is your sixth bowling option?…It’s only Vijay Shankar that I can think of. But does have the same impact batting at No. 5 or 6? Can he give you seven or eight overs? I have my doubts,”
“You can talk [about] putting in Manish Pandey. Even if and when Rohit Sharma comes back in the XI, the problem you are facing now you will be facing then. There is no one in the top six who can actually give you a couple of overs,”
Gambhir further reckoned that the reason why Australians have started off as favourites is because of the quality all-rounders in their ranks. He said:
“And if you see the Australian side, there is Moises Henriques, who can give you a couple of overs. There is Sean Abbott who is a bowling all-rounder. They have Daniel Sams who can both bowl and bat. From the Indian point of view, if Hardik is unfit where is the replacement?”
Meanwhile, in order to get better results, India will have to tweak their line-up. The second ODI will take place on Sunday (November 29).