Gautam Gambhir, former Indian opener and two-time IPL winner has named pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah as the player he will be eager to watch in the T20I series between India and Australia starting 4th December at Canberra.
He made the above observation while sharing his views about the upcoming T20I series between the two sides during an interaction on Star Sports.
Gautam Gambhir Can’t Look Beyond Jasprit Bumrah Who Is X-Factor In All Formats
Gautam Gambhir named the Indian player he will look forward to in the T20I series against Australia on being asked so. He responded that pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah will be the Indian team’s X-factor not only in the shortest format of cricket but in the upcoming Test series between the two sides as well.
“I can’t look beyond someone like Jasprit Bumrah. He is your only X-factor and he will always remain your X-factor, not only in the T20 series but in all the formats.”
The former captain of KKR reasoned that although the Indian team has classy batsmen like skipper Virat Kohli and opener KL Rahul, it is the bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Yuzvendra Chahal who can alter the course of the game by taking crucial scalps.
“Yes, there is Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and all those guys but Jasprit Bumrah is just pure class. I have always maintained that bowlers are the guys who win you the games and Jasprit Bumrah is just world-class.”
Gautam Gambhir was also asked about the opening batting combination for India in the T20Is in the absence of Rohit Sharma who hasn’t recovered from a hamstring injury and may only play a couple of Tests though. He picked KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan as the two Indian openers, with the former doing the job of wicketkeeping as well.
“KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan. I would not push KL Rahul down the order. Yes, he would keep wickets but I would still have KL Rahul opening the batting with Shikhar Dhawan.”
Both of them were top run-scorers in recently concluded IPL 2020. While KL Rahul scored 670 runs, Shikhar Dhawan finished IPL with 618 runs as the duo were only players to breach 600 run mark.
Gautam Gambhir On Biggest Challenge For India In T20I Series
Gautam Gambhir picked the lack of a sixth bowling option as the biggest concern for the Indian team in T20I series. Hardik Pandya’s inability to bowl consistently is a major setback for the Indian team as he isn’t bowling to not risk aggravating his lower back pain keeping upcoming World Cups in mind.
“To be honest, the sixth bowling option is the first and biggest challenge for India because Hardik Pandya is still not fit to bowl.”
He added on the same note that it will be a herculean task for the Indian team management to come up with an ideal combination of bowlers and all-rounders especially since Hardik Pandya is not fit enough to bowl on a regular basis.
“So, what combinations do they go with in the T20I series, that is going to be a big challenge. Let’s see what combination the Indian team go with, especially in the playing XI.”
Hardik Pandya bowled a decent four-over spell conceding 24 runs and picking up centurion Steve Smith’s wicket in the second ODI against Australia. But it is unlikely that he will be seen bowling on a consistent basis as he has not yet fully recovered from his back injury after having surgery in 2019.
Fresh faces Washington Sundar, T Natarajan, Sanju Samson and Deepak Chahar will likely try to give it all against Australia after their inclusion in the T20I squad.