India vs England: Krunal Pandya cannot be India’s 5th bowler in ODIs- Gavaskar

Written by Abhishek Patil

Former India batsman Sunil Gavaskar said that Team India cannot bank upon all-rounder Krunal Pandya to be the team’s fifth bowler. He also added that if both the Pandya brothers are in the team, then the two players together can be looked upon to give the team 10 overs.

Krunal Pandya had a forgettable day with the ball on Friday as Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes hit him for 72 runs in his 6 overs. Krunal went on to concede 6 sixes in his spell in the second ODI in Pune.

“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.

“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,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.

Gavaskar also added that if India had spinners such as Yuzvendra Chahal or Ravindra Jadeja on Friday the story might have been different.

The Indian spinners leaked away 156 runs in 16 overs without taking a wicket. Kuldeep Yadav, the other spinner apart from Krunal on Friday, gave away 84 runs in his 10 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 India legend also said that the team has to figure out on what basis they are playing Krunal Pandya in this ODI team.

“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,” Gavaskar added.

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Abhishek Patil