Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has opened up on the debate between Hardik Pandya and Manish Pandey concerning the ongoing first ODI against Australia in Sydney. With India opting for Hadik Pandya, it has raised some eyebrows amongst the experts and fans since Manish Pandey did outstanding earlier this year. As far as Gautam Gambhir is concerned, he will opt for Hardik Pandya.
Earlier today, Sanjay Manjrekar took to his official Twitter handle and said he would go for Manish Pandey and underlined his reasons. The 53-year old opined that he would choose Pandya if he could offer him a few overs of bowling and that his average in ODI is 29 as compared to Hardik’s 35. Sanjay added that their strike rates do not have plenty of differences either.
Gautam Gambhir underlined that his choice with Hardik Pandya has got more to do with his form in IPL. Hardik Pandya played for the Mumbai Indians at number six while Manish Pandey did at number three for SunRisers Hyderabad. Gambhir feels that it makes no sense to push a batsman at number six who has shown form in IPL to accommodate Manish. However, Hardik’s current form has guaranteed him a number six spot.
“I think it’s more to do with the form he showed in the IPL because if you see, he was batting at No. 6 and Manish Pandey at No. 3. So, if you push Pandey and No. 6, you drop someone who’s already been batting at that position and has shown a lot of form in the IPL, it probably makes no sense. It’s a valid question whether he fits in the 50-over format as a batter. But again, I think his current form has given him the nod of playing at No. 6,” the Delhi-born cricketer told ESPN Cricinfo.
It’s about positions as well: Gautam Gambhir
The 38-year old further said that it is about batting positions too. Gambhir feels that if Shreyas Iyer is not doing well at number four, Manish Pandey could take his spot. However, between Pandey and Pandya for a number six slot, the cricketer-turned-politician prefers the latter.
“It’s about positions as well. If Shreyas Iyer is not doing well, you can push someone like Manish Pandey at No. 4. But between Pandey at No.6 and Pandya at No. 6, I will go with Hardik Pandya,” Gautam Gambhir added.