Former India team opener Gautam Gambhir said that Vijay Shankar could be his option if Hardik Pandya is ‘half fit’ but not as effective. Gambhir believes that the lack of the right option for ‘half-fit’ Hardik will not balance the Indian team as Vijay Shankar, considered a substitute for Pandya, is not as effective.
Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya is currently in the team only as a batsman and is not in a position to bowl. India missed the sixth bowler in the first ODI against Australia, in which India suffered a 66-run defeat. Although Hardik played a brilliant innings of 90 runs, the team still lost.
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Gambhir, who was the hero of India’s victory in the World Cup twice, told Cricinfo, “The problem of balance has been seen since the last World Cup itself. If Hardik is not able to bowl then who is your sixth bowler?
He said, “Vijay Shankar may be an option but at number five or sixth he is not that effective. Can he bowl seven or eight overs. I do not think so.’
Gambhir, Lok Sabha MP from East Delhi, said that this problem will not be solved even after the return of an opener like Rohit Sharma. He said, ‘You can talk about involving Manish Pandey or even if Rohit returns, this problem will remain. None of Team India’s top-6 batsmen can bowl.
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He said, ‘Look at the Australian team. Mojes Henriques can put some overs. Sean Abbott is the bowler all-rounder and also Daniel Symes. Australia won the first ODI in Sydney by 66 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series.