Former England skipper Michael Vaughan feels that it will be tough for India to win the World Cup considering the fact that they lack ‘batting depth’ and also due to the unavailability of a sixth bowling option.
With Hardik Pandya not available to bowl, India’s five-man bowling attack was exposed to the hilt in the first One-day International at Sydney as the Australian batting-unit led by Steve Smith, Aaron Finch, and Glenn Maxwell carted the bowling group to all corners of the SCG to a mammoth 6/374 in 50 overs.
Speaking to CricBuzz, the 2005 Ashes-winning captain said-
“For India’s ODI team, the biggest concern for me, if I was a selector, or in the management, would be lack of 6th bowling option. They need at least 6 or 7 – and the lack of depth in this batting line-up,” Michael Vaughan said.
“I know we are a long way off from the World Cup, but I just don’t see this formation winning the World Cup. With 5 or 6 bowling options, and 7 batsmen and then you are down to your bowlers. You think the IPL has been around for so many years, the selectors would have figured out players who could fill that role – whether it’s couple of players in the top six who can bowl, or an allrounder. When Hardik starts bowling, they will have that bowler,” he further said.
“But once they start looking at the structure of the team to give themselves an even better chance of winning the World Cup in Indian conditions – because I don’t see, as we see, the formation they have right now, winning the World Cup,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya, who stroked a brilliant 90 in the first ODI, is working on his remodeled action in the nets. However, the exact timeline of his return as a seam-bowling option remains a mystery.
Pandya was asked the same during the post-match interviews where he said that he is targeting World Cups and will not rush himself in the bowling arena as he feels that it might lead to another injury. He also added that he is sweating it out in the nets but is still a long way away from attaining match-fitness.