Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli(AP)
Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli(AP)

India vs Australia: ‘Unfortunately, Hardik is not fit enough to bowl,’ Virat Kohli says Team India doesn’t have other all-round options to pick

IND vs AUS: Hardik looked in great touch during his innings as he scored 90 runs off just 76 balls. But he could not take India to victory as a target of 375 was too much to chase.
By hindustantimes.com | Hindustan Times, Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 27, 2020 07:16 PM IST

India are missing the services of Hardik Pandya in the bowling department. The seaming all-rounder is still not cleared to bowl as he is still recuperating from a back injury he suffered last year. Hardik did not bowl during the whole of Indian Premier League 2020 but looked in good knick with the bat for champions Mumbai Indians. He was picked as a pure batsman in India’s playing XI for the first One Day International against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Hardik looked in great touch during his innings as he scored 90 runs off just 76 balls. But he could not take India to victory as a target of 375 was too much to chase. The visitors lost the match by 66 runs as they could only manage 308 in 50 overs.

READ | ‘It’s unfair on him to miss out to Hardik Pandya,’ Sanjay Manjrekar feels India batsman was hard done by

India captain Virat Kohli talked about Hardik’s performance after the match as he commented that the all-rounder is still not fit enough to bowl and the team still doesn’t have many all-rounding options to pick from.

‘Unfortunately, Hardik is not fit enough to bowl, and we don’t have other all-round options to pick from either, someone like Stoinis. From the batting point of view, we had a chat briefly now. All the batsmen committed to it which is why you saw us playing with intent. I think we gave ourselves the best chance. Hardik’s innings was the best example of that. As a batting unit we committed nicely to positive cricket and we are going to do that in the future as well,’ Kohli said after the match.

“That is an area to be looked at, it is a big part in any team’s balance, someone like Marcus (Stoinis), (Glenn) Maxwell bowling a few overs for Australia helped.” Kohli said.

Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan stitched a 128-run partnership for the fifth-wicket but in the end, it was not enough for India to chase down the mammoth 374-run total. Dhawan scored 74 runs in 86 balls but both the batsmen were dismissed in quick succession by leg-spinner Adam Zampa which crushed India’s hopes.

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