'He is in brilliant form. I will surely consider him': Gavaskar suggests 2 changes for India, names Pandya's replacement
Following India’s defeat to Pakistan in their opening match of the T20 World Cup, the Men in Blue seek a win over New Zealand to keep their semi-final hopes alive, and ahead of the crunch tie, former captain and batting legend Sunil Gavaskar reckons the team could do by making a couple of changes for the NZ tie on Sunday in Dubai.
In Gavaskar feels that although India do not need to make any changes, there are two positions that can be looked into – that of all-rounder Hardik Pandya and fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Having said that, Gavaskar cautioned that making too many changes could give an impression to New Zealand that India may perhaps be ‘panicking’.
“If Hardik Pandya is not bowling – due to that shoulder injury he sustained in the match against Pakistan – Ishan Kishan has been in brilliant form so I will surely consider him ahead of Pandya. And perhaps, you can think of Shardul Thakur in place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. But otherwise, if you make too many changes, then you will show the opposition that you have panicked,” Gavaskar said on Sports Tak.
Pandya did not bowl in the game against Pakistan, but on Wednesday as the Indian team participated in their practice, the all-rounder rolled his arms over and bowled to a few batsmen in the nets. On the eve of the Pakistan clash, captain Virat Kohli had backed Pandya to bowl at least a couple of overs and judging by what transpired on Wednesday, Pandya the bowler is expected to make a return against New Zealand. However, barring these 2 changes, Gavaskar expects the team to remain unchanged and reiterated the ‘panic’ factor.
“Having said that. If you make changes, it will show that the team has panicked. There is no need to panic, because they have a good team. Yes, you’ve lost a match to a good team but that doesn’t mean that going forward, India won’t win the match or win the tournament. If you win the next four matches, you can make it to the semi-final and from there, possibly even the final. So, there is no need to make changes,” Gavaskar added.