Cricket

India vs Australia: Gautam Gambhir says visitors will struggle to find proper balance until Hardik Pandya is fully fit

  • Press Trust of India
  • November 28th, 2020
  • 14:29:00 IST

New Delhi: Former India opener Gautam Gambhir feels Virat Kohli's team will keep facing the problem of imbalance till it finds a suitable replacement for a half-fit Hardik Pandya as his nearest competitor Vijay Shankar is not of same level.

Pandya is playing currently as a specialist batsman and is not sure when he would be fully fit to bowl in ODI cricket. India lost to Australia by 66 runs in a high-scoring series opener in which the visitors missed a sixth bowling option.

Asked if there is a problem of balance, the hero of two World Cup triumphs couldn't agree more.

Hardik Pandya scored 90 off 76 batting at No 6 for India as he once showcased his talent with the bat. AP

Hardik Pandya scored 90 off 76 batting at No 6 for India as he once showcased his talent with the bat. AP

"Big time and this has been happening what -- since the last World Cup. If Hardik is not fit (to bowl), where is your sixth bowling option," Gambhir was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo.

"It's only Vijay Shankar that I can think of but does he have the same impact batting at No 5 or 6. Can he give you seven or 8 overs, I have my doubts," the straight-talking Gambhir said.

According to Gambhir, this is the kind of problem which can't be sorted even if a opener of Rohit Sharma's calibre comes back.

"You can talk (about) putting in Manish Pandey, even if and when Rohit Sharma comes back in the XI, the problem you are facing now you will be facing then. There is no one in the top six who can actually give you a coupe of overs," he said.

While Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell are already in the playing XI as pace and spin bowling all-rounders respectively, Australia have a number of back-up men with multiple skill-sets, including rookie Cameron Green, who is set to make his international debut.

"And if you see the Australian side, there is Moises Henrqiues, who can give you couple of overs, there is Sean Abbott who is bowling all-rounder. They have Daniel Sams who can both bowl and bat.

"From Indian point of view, if Hardik is unfit where is the replacement?"

Updated Date: November 28, 2020 14:29:00 IST

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

India vs Australia: Hard surface with lot of grass prepared for Sydney Test, says SCG curator Adam Lewis
First Cricket News

India vs Australia: Hard surface with lot of grass prepared for Sydney Test, says SCG curator Adam Lewis

The four-Test series is tied at 1-1 with Australia winning the pink-ball opener in Adelaide while India emerged triumphant in Melbourne.

India vs Australia: Crowd capacity limited to 25 percent for Sydney Test, announce Cricket Australia
First Cricket News

India vs Australia: Crowd capacity limited to 25 percent for Sydney Test, announce Cricket Australia

Approximately 9500 people would be allowed to watch the game with the series currently locked at 1-1 following India's remarkable comeback in Melbourne. The SCG has a seating capacity of about 38,000.

India vs Australia: Rain washes out visitors' practice session at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday
First Cricket News

India vs Australia: Rain washes out visitors' practice session at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday

In the absence of outdoor activities, Indian players had a gym session as they continued their preparations for the third Test starting in Sydney from 7 January.