Gambhir was asked to pick one player that will be crucial to India’s chances in the three-match rubber during a conversation with Star Sports, and the 2011 World Cup-winner had no hesitation in terming Jasprit Bumrah as the only ‘X-Factor’ player in the Indian set-up.
Bumrah has had a rough year in the ODI format but he has been brilliant in the shortest format of the game and is coming off a really successful IPL campaign, where he finished as the second-highest wicket-taker.
“I can’t look beyond someone like Jasprit Bumrah. He is your only X-factor and he will always remain your X-factor, not only in the T20 series but in all the formats.” Gautam Gambhir told Star Sports..
Gambhir added that while Team India has quality batsmen in the form of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, and Shikhar Dhawan, it is the bowlers who win games for their side.
“Yes, there is Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and all those guys but Jasprit Bumrah is just pure class. I have always maintained that bowlers are the guys who win you the games and Jasprit Bumrah is just world-class.” Gambhir added.
‘Sixth bowling option India’s biggest challenge’- Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir was also asked about his choice for the second openers’ slot in the absence of Rohit Sharma.
And, the former opener had no hesitation in picking KL Rahul for the said position.
“KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan. I would not push KL Rahul down the order. Yes, he would keep wickets but I would still have KL Rahul opening the batting with Shikhar Dhawan.” he said.
India’s biggest issue off-late has been the lack of a sixth bowling option in the absence of Hardik Pandya- the bowler- and Gautam Gambhir feels that it will once again be the Men in Blue’s biggest challenge in the T20I series.
“To be honest, the sixth bowling option is the first and biggest challenge for India because Hardik Pandya is still not fit to bowl. So, what combinations do they go with in the T20I series, that is going to be a big challenge. Let’s see what combination the Indian team go with, especially in the playing XI.” he added.
That said, Hardik Pandya returned to bowling in the last game. He bowled four overs for 28 runs and one wicket and skipper Virat Kohli, during the press-conference had revealed that the all-rounder has told him that he is comfortable in bowling 2-3 overs.