Hardik Pandya collects the ball.(Getty Images)
Hardik Pandya collects the ball.(Getty Images)

India feel absence of part-time pacers

India vs Australia: All-rounder Hardik Pandya, who is not ready to bowl yet because of a lower back problem, says it’s always difficult when you go with five pacers.
By Abhishek Paul | New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 29, 2020 08:09 AM IST

Four balls left in his over, Marcus Stoinis grimaced in pain. The seam bowling all-rounder had to leave the field with a side strain and Glenn Maxwell, another all-rounder, completed the rest of the 33rd over. Even with one of their main bowling options gone, Australia had little difficulty in cruising to a 66-run in the first match of the three-ODI contest on Friday.

The significance of the change was not lost on India captain Virat Kohli. Had something similar happened to one of India’s five bowlers, they would have had no alternative but to use a specialist batsman to complete the over. In a game when everyone but Mohammed Shami went over six per over, it would have been catastrophic. That is significance of Hardik Pandya, the bowler, who is currently playing only half his role due to a lower back problem.

“We’ll have to find out ways of getting a few overs from a few part-timers in the side. Unfortunately, Hardik is not ready to bowl yet so we have to accept that and work around it. That is an area we have looked at, which is a very big part of any team balance. Stoinis and Glenn (Maxwell) do it for Australia,” Kohli said after the match.

Pandya was inducted into the India team in 2016 as a power-hitter in the lower order who could bowl. Over the years he grew in both the roles to be India’s No. 1 all-rounder. But a back injury, that had been troubling him since India’s 2018 England tour, meant he needed surgery in February. Pandya is currently in the side only as batsman.

As the No. 6 batsman, Pandya top-scored with a 76-ball 90, also his highest ODI score, and was involved a 128-run fifth stand with opener Shikhar Dhawan on Friday. He also completed 1000 ODI runs during the first ODI, in 857 balls – the fastest Indian (in terms of balls) to reach the milestone. The numbers underline Pandya’s significance even when he is fulfilling only half of his responsibility.

Needed, all-rounders

And that also points to the dearth of quality all-rounders, especially with seam bowling ability, in Indian cricket. Vijay Shankar was tried at the 2019 World Cup but did not impress. Shivam Dube, Kohli’s teammate in Royal Challengers Bangalore, has played in 13 T20Is and one ODI but he too hasn’t had any significant impact early on.

Pandya felt that all-rounders needed to be groomed to keep the balance of team intact. “We have to find (seaming all-rounders) and maybe make… I have always believed that. Even when I came into the circuit, I was not always the all-rounder which I wanted to be. But with time, I groomed myself and became that bowling option. I worked on my bowling,” he said.

“It is always going to be difficult when you go with five bowlers. When someone is having an off day, you don’t have someone to fulfill the quota. More than injury, the sixth bowler’s role is when someone among the five bowlers is having a bad day. Maybe we will have to find someone who has already played India, and groom them and find a way to make them play.”

The 27-year-old Pandya has played all three formats for India. In 11 Tests he has 532 runs and 17 wickets, 1047 runs and 54 wickets in 55 ODIs and in 40 T20Is, he has 310 runs and 38 wickets.

The 27-year-old said he is ready to wait for his lower back to take bowling load for him to be ready for the big series as well as the World Cups, starting with the 2021 World T20 in India.

“I am looking at a long-term goal where I want to be 100% of my bowling capacity for the most important games. The World Cups are coming. More crucial series are coming. I am thinking as a long-term plan, not short term where I exhaust myself and maybe have something else which is not there. I can’t tell you exactly when I am going to bowl but the process is on. In the nets, I am bowling,” Pandya said.

Make or break

Subroto Banerjee, former India pacer and ex-NCA fast bowling coach, felt a back trouble, from which Pandya is recuperating, can be a make-or-break situation for any seamer. “We often see all-rounders giving up bowling completely because their back is not holding up. It is the one of most important body parts for a pacer. It takes majority of the load during the delivery apart of the legs. It generates the power. And unlike hamstring or other injuries, it takes more time to heal,” said Banerjee.

“Pandya has no option but to wait. Had he been younger, he could have thought of changing his action to reduce pressure on his back but not now. He might not be the same bowler if he changes his action now, something which he is so comfortable in.”

As Pandya awaits full recovery, India need to groom a pace bowling all-rounder which can happen only after the Australia tour. Facing a must-win situation in the second ODI in Sydney on Sunday, Kohli might ring in changes. In place of Navdeep Saini, who leaked 83 in 10 overs, they may add variety by giving left-hand pacer T Natarajan, who earned a national call-up for his uncanny ability to bowl yorkers, a debut. Seamer Shardul Thakur, who is also a decent bat, may also be used but that might mean one of the two spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja, missing out. That Jadeja is a spin bowling all-rounder only makes selection trickier.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
India's captain Ajinkya Rahane gives instructions to teammates on day four of the fourth cricket Test match between Australia and India at The Gabba in Brisbane on January 18, 2021.(AFP)
India's captain Ajinkya Rahane gives instructions to teammates on day four of the fourth cricket Test match between Australia and India at The Gabba in Brisbane on January 18, 2021.(AFP)

Ajinkya Rahane, Shardul Thakur arrive in Chennai for England Tests

PTI, Chennai
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 10:04 PM IST
The other Indian players, including skipper Virat Kohli, are expected to reach Chennai in batches on Wednesday.
Close
Police remove a group of spectators from their seats after Mohammed Siraj of India complained to umpires of being racially abused during day four of the third test match between Australia and India at the SCG, Sydney, Australia, January 10, 2021.(via REUTERS)
Police remove a group of spectators from their seats after Mohammed Siraj of India complained to umpires of being racially abused during day four of the third test match between Australia and India at the SCG, Sydney, Australia, January 10, 2021.(via REUTERS)

CA tells ICC it couldn't identify those who racially abused players: Report

PTI, Sydney
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 08:56 PM IST
'The Age' reported that the CA investigators "have cleared the six men ejected from their seats during the Sydney Test of racially abusing Mohammed Siraj."
Close
File photo of Ajinkya Rahane(REUTERS)
File photo of Ajinkya Rahane(REUTERS)

‘My captain boosted my morale’: Ajinkya Rahane

By hindustantimes.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 06:53 PM IST
Rahane revealed how he has been getting backed by his captain - Virat Kohli -whenever he failed to perform with the bat.
Close
Brisbane : India's Shubman Gill bats during play on the final day of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. AP/PTI(AP01_19_2021_000009B)(AP)
Brisbane : India's Shubman Gill bats during play on the final day of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. AP/PTI(AP01_19_2021_000009B)(AP)

'Boss, just carry on': Rathour says Gill had 'all the answers' against Australia

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 04:44 PM IST
India vs Australia: Speaking in a video on R Ashwin's Youtube channel, Rathour said that he was surprised to see Gill's clarity of plans.
Close
South Africa's spinner Keshav Maharaj, center front, and his teammates celebrate dismissal of Pakistan's Babar Azam.(AP)
South Africa's spinner Keshav Maharaj, center front, and his teammates celebrate dismissal of Pakistan's Babar Azam.(AP)

South Africa comeback reduces Pakistan to 33-4 in reply to 220

AP, Karachi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 06:42 PM IST
Pakistan was reduced to 33-4 at stumps on a pitch devoid of grass as 14 wickets fell on an eventful opening day of the two-test series.
Close
Australia's captain Tim Paine. File(Action Images via Reuters)
Australia's captain Tim Paine. File(Action Images via Reuters)

'I like his chances': Isa Guha names player who can replace Paine as captain

By hindustantimes.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 06:08 PM IST
Australia captain Tim Paine's future has come under scrutiny following the series defeat against India at home.
Close
File image of a cricket bat and ball.(Getty Images)
File image of a cricket bat and ball.(Getty Images)

Two UAE players found guilty of trying to fix matches, suspended by ICC

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 06:10 PM IST
Former UAE captain Naveed and top-order batsman Shaiman were found guilty of two offences each under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code after they exercised their right to a hearing before a tribunal.
Close
File photo of Indian batsman Shubman Gill(AP)
File photo of Indian batsman Shubman Gill(AP)

Gambhir suggests not to put ‘too much pressure’ on Gill after Australia heroics

By hindustantimes.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 02:50 PM IST
Former Indian opener Gambhir backed Gill to open the batting for India against England but also stated that the expectations from Gill after a dream debut in Australia can’t be too high.
Close
India's Shardul Thakur bats during play on day three of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)(AP)
India's Shardul Thakur bats during play on day three of the fourth cricket test between India and Australia at the Gabba, Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)(AP)

'He was bowling well': Shardul recalls his six off Lyon to score Test fifty

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 26, 2021 03:46 PM IST
'He was bowling well': Shardul recalls his six off Lyon to score Test fifty
Close
File image of Scott Styris.(Getty Images)
File image of Scott Styris.(Getty Images)

‘If anybody pays him close to 10-crore mark, they've got rocks in their head'

By hindustantimes.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 05:31 PM IST
Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris is of the opinion that anyone paying Glenn Maxwell a huge amount will be making a bad decision.
Close
Rishabh Pant with the Border-Gavaskar trophy. (MINT_PRINT)
Rishabh Pant with the Border-Gavaskar trophy. (MINT_PRINT)

'I closed my eyes and ran, Saini was running on one leg': Pant relives Gabba win

By hindustantimes.com
UPDATED ON JAN 26, 2021 04:41 PM IST
Speaking in a recent interaction, India's Rishabh Pant recalled how he forgot about Navdeep Saini's groin injury and started calling for a '3' after hitting the shot.
Close
interview
India's captain Ajinkya Rahane gives instructions to teammates on day four of the fourth cricket Test match between Australia and India at The Gabba in Brisbane on January 18, 2021. (AFP)
India's captain Ajinkya Rahane gives instructions to teammates on day four of the fourth cricket Test match between Australia and India at The Gabba in Brisbane on January 18, 2021. (AFP)

Interview | 'Told Pujara to continue, I'll look for runs': Rahane on Gabba chase

By Sanjjeev K Samyal, Rasesh Mandani
UPDATED ON JAN 26, 2021 09:11 AM IST
The reserved and soft-spoken Ajinkya Rahane led the team aggressively and astutely: “It was a challenge as well as a responsibility, and I thought it was the best opportunity for me to stand up, send that message, he said.
Close
File photo of England head coach Chris Silverwood(REUTERS)
File photo of England head coach Chris Silverwood(REUTERS)

Confidence will go through the roof if England beat India, says coach Silverwood

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 09:44 PM IST
India and England are set to lock horns in four Tests, three ODIs, and five T20Is. The first and second Test will be played in Chennai, beginning February 5.
Close
File photo of former Indian captain MS Dhoni(Twitter)
File photo of former Indian captain MS Dhoni(Twitter)

Will be happy if I can be 5-10 percent as good as Dhoni: Ben Dunk

By hindustantimes.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 08:39 PM IST
Dunk might have drawn inspiration from Adam Gilchrist in his early years but the Australia rising wicket-keeper batsman wants to emulate Dhoni in his career.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP