Former Team India cricketer Venkatapathy Raju feels Virat Kohli & Co will feel the absence of all-rounder Hardik Pandya in the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton, starting June 18.
The selectors have left out Pandya from the squad that will fly to the UK on June 2. The dynamic all-rounder hasn’t bowled regularly ever since he underwent back surgery in 2019. The selectors felt the batter Hardik Pandya was not best suited for English conditions.
While India have most of their bases covered, Venkatapathy Raju has highlighted that the absence of a fast-bowling all-rounder like Hardik Pandya will be felt in the all-important WTC final.
“New Zealand have good all-rounders. Their batting looks strong. Kyle Jamieson is in very good form with the red ball, getting wickets against India, West Indies and Pakistan. Because of his height, he gets good bounce and also gives an extra boost as an all-rounder. New Zealand have good fast bowling all-rounders while India have good spinning all-rounders. This is where Hardik brings the balance overseas and will his absence will be felt,” Raju told Sportskeeda.
India have all bases covered – Venkatapathy Raju
Venkatapathy Raju also stated that India have covered all their bases with the amount of talent that is at their disposal currently. He also rated India’s attack as the best in the world ahead of the most important tie.
“India have got a good pace bowling attack under helpful conditions helpful,” Venkatapathy Raju said. “They also have the experience with Ishant Sharma having 302 Test wickets, Md Shami with 180 Test wickets and Bumrah with 83. If the conditions are dry, India are well equipped with two genuine spinning all-rounders in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Jadeja came back after missing a major part of the Australia tour and showed in IPL that he was getting into rhythm with his deadly all-round abilities. Also, when you have Umesh Yadav and Md Siraj, who has done brilliantly, sitting out, this is the best combination India have,” he added.