Former Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir has spoken about India’s problem of finding a sixth bowling option in recent times. India under Virat Kohli played with five bowling options in the ODI series against Australia. Hardik Pandya not bowling in recent times due to his injury has mounted India’s problems. All the Indian bowlers went for plenty in the first two games as Australia scored over 350 in the two games that they batted first.
Meanwhile, Gambhir has looked at Krunal Pandya and Axar Patel as the sixth bowling in the current Indian team. Both left-arm spinners can bowl their quota of overs and bat in the middle-order for India. With Hardik not bowling, Gambhir feels that Indian can use either of the two at number seven and bowl his quota of overs as well.
Talking to ESPN Cricinfo, Gambhir said India can bat Ravindra Jadeja at number five, Hardik Pandya at number six and either of Krunal or Axar at number seven to lend balance to the team.
“I would probably want him to bat at number five because then you can have KL Rahul bat at number four, Virat Kohli at number three and then Jadeja at five, Pandya at six, and you can have another all-rounder at number seven. Use his form. My point has always been very simple. If you make someone bat at number seven, he will bat like a number seven. If you make him bat like a number four or five, he will bat like it and that is how it has always been with everyone,” Gambhir told ESPN Cricinfo.
Play One Batsman Less- Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir further suggested that Virat Kohli should play a batsman less and include the all-rounder in place of him. In that case either of Sanju Samson, Manish Pandey or Shreyas Iyer will have to sit out in the current T20I series against Australia.
“You ask someone to open the batting and he starts thinking like an opener. Jadeja has got the ability. We all know that he has got the ability, he has a Test hundred, got runs in all conditions in white-ball cricket and why not push him at number five and see whether we can work with the combination because you open up one spot you can play a number six bowler who can chip in with overs. You can play another left-arm spinner like Krunal Pandya or Axar Patel,” Gambhir added.
India won the first T20I by 11 runs on Friday after losing the ODI series 2-1. The second T20I will be played on Sunday followed by the third and final game on Tuesday. Both games will be played at the SCG.