Former India captain, Sunil Gavaskar believes that asking Krunal Pandya to bowl 10 overs in an ODI as a fifth bowler is too much for the left-arm spinner. Krunal was taken to the cleaners by the England batsman in the second ODI on Friday – he leaked 72 runs in 6 overs as the visitors gunned down a target of 337 in 43.3 overs.
Sunil Gavaskar opines that Krunal cannot do the job of a fifth bowler with as efficacy as Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja have done in the past. The 71-year-old observed that Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes played without any pressure as they hammered both Krunal, who was playing just his second ODI and an out-of-form Kuldeep Yadav. Chahal, who has been benched after the third T20I, is likely to replace Kuldeep in the decider ODI on Sunday.
“I will say the Indian bowling was probably a little weak because Krunal Pandya cannot be your fifth bowler, he cannot be a bowler who bowls 10 overs. You need a bowler like Yuzvendra Chahal on such pitches, who can bowl 10 overs,” Sunil Gavaskar said while speaking with Star Sports.
“Pandya brothers can bowl 10 overs together but if the Indian team has to perform well and win the next match they will have to think a lot about their fourth, fifth, and sixth bowlers. There was no pressure on Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow. If the Indian team had a spin bowler, like Yuzvendra Chahal or Ravindra Jadeja, the story might have been different,” he added.
Indian team needs to have five bowlers and the sixth can be Hardik Pandya: Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar asserts that India needs to play five genuine bowlers – or a bowler who can bat at number 7 – and Hardik Pandya as the sixth bowling option. Hardik has not bowled a single delivery in the two ODIs after being picked a 4-over bowler in the T20Is. Captain Virat Kohli after the game said that they are managing Hardik’s workload considering the packed schedule to come
“If you are going to bat Krunal Pandya at No.7, you will have to see him as a bowler who can bat. But is that the correct number for him? If you are playing him as a batsman at No.5 or No.6 and if he has to bowl 4-5 overs, it is fine but the Indian team needs to have five bowlers and the sixth can be Hardik Pandya, who can bowl 3-4 overs. I felt when Kuldeep and Krunal were being hit today, they could have tried him for 2-3 overs,” the former opener added.