Sunil Gavaskar has opined that Krunal Pandya cannot be the fifth bowler in the Indian bowling attack in ODI cricket. The spin-bowling all-rounder was targeted by the England batsmen in the second ODI, as he conceded 72 runs in the six overs he bowled.
Despite scoring 336 runs after they were put in to bat by England in the second ODI on Friday, India went on to lose the match with 39 balls to spare. England chased down the Indian target of 337 runs in just 43.3 overs as Jonny Bairstow (124 of 112) and Ben Stokes (99 of 52) attacked the Indian spinners in particular.
Sunil Gavaskar: Indian Bowling Was Probably A Little Weak
During a post-match discussion on Star Sports, Sunil Gavaskar was asked if the 337-run target was less or whether the Indian bowling attack was not good enough. The former Indian skipper responded the Virat Kohli-led side was short in the bowling department, with Krunal Pandya being played as a full-fledged bowler.
“I will say the Indian bowling was probably a little weak because Krunal Pandya cannot be your fifth bowler, he cannot be a bowler who bowls 10 overs. You need a bowler like Yuzvendra Chahal on such pitches, who can bowl 10 overs,” said Gavaskar.
Sunil Gavaskar observed Team India will have to reconsider and re-shuffle their bowling attack if they want to entertain hopes of winning the ODI series.
“Pandya brothers can bowl 10 overs together but if the Indian team has to perform well and win the next match they will have to think a lot about their fourth, fifth and sixth bowlers,” added Sunil Gavaskar.
The Indian team will have to strengthen their bowling department if Hardik Pandya cannot play the sixth bowler’s role, keeping his workload management in mind.
Sunil Gavaskar: No Pressure Was Exerted On Ben Stokes And Jonny Bairstow
Sunil Gavaskar pointed out the Indian spinners could not exert any pressure on the duo of Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow who went on the rampage with a 175 run partnership for the 2nd wicket which came in only 19 overs.
“There was no pressure on Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow. If the Indian team had a spin bowler, like Yuzvendra Chahal or Ravindra Jadeja, the story might have been different,” said Gavaskar.
The cricketer-turned-commentator signed off by stating that Krunal Pandya who had a memorable ODI debut in the 1st ODI cannot be considered a specialist bowler and Hardik Pandya should have bowled a few overs when his brother and Kuldeep Yadav were being taken to the cleaners.
“If you are going to bat Krunal Pandya at No.7, you will have to see him as a bowler who can bat. But is that the correct number for him? If you are playing him as a batsman at No.5 or No.6 and if he has to bowl 4-5 overs, it is fine but the Indian team needs to have five bowlers and the sixth can be Hardik Pandya, who can bowl 3-4 overs.
“I felt when Kuldeep and Krunal were being hit today, they could have tried him for 2-3 overs,” concluded Sunil Gavaskar.
Krunal Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav conceded 156 runs in the 16 overs bowled by the duo. Both the bowlers erred in line and length and allowed the England batsmen to garner easy runs.
Kuldeep Yadav conceded as many as 8 sixes and finished with figures of 82 for 0 in his quota of 10 overs on Friday. He was a shadow of his aggressive self as the left-arm wrist-spinner struggled to find any kind of rhythm. Meanwhile, all-rounder Krunal Pandya was taken to the cleaners as well on Friday. The Mumbai Indians star gave away 72 runs, including a 28-run over, in just 6 overs without managing to look threatening.