IND vs BAN: Hardik Pandya named as back-up option as Sunil Gavaskar pulls no punches in India assessment

Hardik Pandya and Sunil Gavaskar

Legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has chosen India’s ideal bowling combination for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024 in the West Indies and the United States of America (USA). Sunil Gavaskar advised captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid to use Hardik Pandya as the fifth bowling option.

India have picked three pacers, two wrist spinners and two left-arm finger spinners in their squad for the tournament. The team management will finalize their bowling combination in their only warm-up match against Bangladesh at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York on Saturday, June 1.

Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav are definite picks in the playing XI. Jasprit Bumrah will spearhead the bowling attack in the World Cup. One of Axar Patel or Yuzvendra Chahal will be chosen if the team picks three spinners. Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh are the team’s fast bowling options.

This will keep the team balanced – Sunil Gavaskar

Speaking to Dainik Jagran, Sunil Gavaskar emphasized the importance of a balanced bowling attack in the World Cup. Gavaskar suggested that India should field three spinners and two fast bowlers, with Hardik Pandya as the backup fast bowler.

“A balanced bowling attack is the most important thing in West Indies, so India can go for three spinners and two fast bowlers, with Hardik Pandya as the back-up fast bowler. I think this will keep the team balanced.” Gavaskar told Dainik Jagran in an interview.

Hardik Pandya had a disappointing season as captain of the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. The 30-year-old scored 216 runs in 13 innings and took 11 wickets in the T20 tournament. The all-rounder star will be eager to improve on his performance in the upcoming main event.

Pandya and Shivam Dube are the two fast bowling all-rounders in the team. Pandya and Dube are sweating bowling during India’s rigorous net sessions ahead of the warm-up match. Dube had limited opportunities to bowl for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in IPL 2024 due to the Impact Player rule.

The team has a good combination of experience and youth – Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar was impressed with India’s World Cup squad and described it as well-balanced. The cricketer-turned-commentator highlighted a good mix of young and experienced players in the team.

“I think this is a team that has a good mix of experience and youth. Along with Rohit, Virat, Surya and Bumrah, there are young players like Yashasvi, Rishabh and Shivam, who strengthen the team.” Gavaskar added.

The 74-year-old refrained from predicting the semi-finalists of the T20 World Cup, stating that all the teams appear to be well balanced. “You can’t say who the four semi-finalists will be because, in my opinion, all the teams seem balanced.” Gavaskar further added.

Team India will begin their T20 World Cup journey against Ireland on June 5 in New York. The much-awaited match between India and Pakistan will be played on June 9 at the same venue. Rohit Sharma’s team will face the United States and Canada on June 12 and 15, respectively.

Also Read: T20 World Cup 2024: RP Singh criticizes Sam Curran’s handling of Arshdeep Singh in IPL 2024; share the WC success plan