Irfan Pathan believes that Hardik Pandya may be one of the players that Team India may look to rest in the third One-Day International match against Sri Lanka on Sunday, January 15.
After winning their first two games in Guwahati and Kolkata, the Men in Blue have already won the three-match series. Since the encounter has mainly academic value, Rohit Sharma and the company may decide to give some of the guys waiting in the wings a chance.
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When asked if he noticed any changes in India’s starting lineup during an interview on the Star Sports program “Match Point,” Irfan Pathan replied:
“The ideal situation would be for the players to continue to play. It will be for load management if you need to make modifications. Check to see who has participated in every game in this series. Given how heavily loaded his batting and bowling are, will you want to give Hardik Pandya a break?”
Due to his participation in all five games of the limited-overs series against the Lankan Lions and his inclusion in the squad for the six white-ball games against New Zealand, Hardik Pandya might be granted a break. In such a case, the Indian think group might consider playing Washington Sundar or Suryakumar Yadav at No. 6.
“Axar Patel has improved his batting a lot”: Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan noted that India will typically not be able to play Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav together due to Axar Patel’s better batting statistics, noting:
“Both of them are now unable to play together since Axar Patel has really improved his hitting and is now playing at No. 7. Unless you have a turning surface with only two quick bowlers, it is quite tough to play both wrist spinners,” Irfan Pathan said.
Sri Lanka has so far lost the T20I series 2-1 and the ODI series 2-0 on this tour, but a win in this third and final SL vs. IND ODI match will go a long way toward helping them prepare for the upcoming 2023 ODI World Cup.