Gautam Gambhir names Vijay Shankar as the 6th bowling option but is sceptical about his impact

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Gautam Gambhir
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India lost the first One Day International against Australia by 66 runs and former opener Gautam Gambhir feels that Virat Kohli’s team will keep facing the problem until they find a replacement for a half-fit Hardik Pandya as he is playing only as a specialist batsman now.

Gambhir

 

While naming Vijay Shankar as an option, Gambhir added that he is not of the same level. On the other hand, there’s no surety when he would be fully fit to bowl again in ODI cricket. However, India missed a sixth bowling option in their 66-run loss game. While asked if there is a problem of balance in the squad, the former opener shared his views. He also said that this problem can’t be solved even if someone like Rohit Sharma’s calibre includes in the playing XI.

“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.”

“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 couple of overs,” he further said.

Australia already have Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell in the playing XI as pace and spin bowling all-rounders respectively. Apart from them, they have a number of back-up options with multiple skill-sets, including Cameron Green, who is ready to make his international debut as well.

He concluded, “And if you see the Australian side, there is Moises Henriques, who can give you a couple of overs, there is Sean Abbott who is bowling all-rounder. They have Daniel Sams who can both bowl and bat. From the Indian point of view, if Hardik is unfit where is the replacement?”

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