Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir feels that India not opting to pick an all-round option given the fact that Hardik Pandya was not available to bowl is a ‘selection error’.
The balance of the Indian ODI team has come under the scanner in the last two matches with the Men in Blue going with just five bowling options. And, the misery has been further compounded with the fact that the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Navdeep Saini haven’t turned up whatsoever.
And, the fact that none of India’s top-5 batsman offers anything with the ball has further deepened the issues. According to Gautam Gambhir, India should have added the likes of Washington Sundar or Shivam Dube in their ODI squad just to see how they go about their business in the 50-over format.
“No, it doesn’t. And see if just want to make anyone bowl, you can make anyone bowl. And, probably that wasn’t the best answer either that we don’t have one. You should have a squad where you should have someone in as simple as it gets,” Gautam Gambhir told ESPNCricinfo,
”You are taking such a big squad. Yes, I can understand probably they are of the same quality. But then you have such a big squad in Australia, probably you could have someone in the squad to see how it goes,” he added.
”Okay, imagine! If India doesn’t win the game, they could have actually given aomeone like Washington Sundar or Shivam Dube, or XYZ to play the next game and see how they go in the ODI format. But if you don’t have anyone in the squad in Australia, that’s a selection error as well” Gautam Gambhir added.
Meanwhile, in what came as a surprise to everyone, Hardik Pandya did turn up to the bowl in the second ODI. With the regular bowlers being carted to all corners of the SCG, Kohli had no option but to turn to Hardik.
And, as it turned out, Hardik with his cross-seam deliveries proved to be the pick of the bowlers as he registered figures of 1-24 in four overs, including a prized-scalp of Steve Smith, who smoked yet another 62-ball 100.