'If it's at the cost of the Indian team, it's not the correct thing': Gavaskar expects Hardik to bowl in ODIs
- India vs England: Sunil Gavaskar feels workload management is understandable where the balance of the team remains unaffected, but on occasions it does, players should be utilized for their skills.
Sunil Gavaskar is not impressed with India's decision to not hand the ball to Hardik Pandya in the ODI series. Gavaskar's comments come in the wake of England's sound six-wicket thrashing of India in the second ODI, where Ben Stokes, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow hit the jackpot against India's bowlers, almost cantering to their target of 337 set by India.
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Barring Prasidh Krishna, all other Indian bowlers were taken for more than six runs an over as England won with 39 balls to spare. Even when all the bowlers were being taken for runs, Virat Kohli did not hand the ball to Hardik Pandya, later informing that the decision was made keeping the all-rounder's workload management in mind. Gavaskar reckons the whole concept is understandable where the balance of the team remains unaffected, but on occasions it does, players should be utilized for their skills.
"When you talk about workload management, you’ve got to look at the balance of your team and if the balance of the team means that the workload management man does not fit into the Playing XI, he shouldn’t be playing in the XI. The workload can then be managed in the IPL for the following matches. If he plays for India, and he’s an all-rounder, he should be available to bowl three-four overs," Gavaskar said after England won the toss.
Pandya has not bowled much since undergoing back surgery in September of 2019. Since his return, Pandya has only bowled on few occasions – during an ODI against Australia in November last year and the recently-concluded T20Is against England. Gavaskar understands it could be too much to expect Pandya to bowl 10 overs, but the former captain feels he can certainly fill in for a few when things are not going well for India.
"I totally agree that he maybe is not ready to bowl a full quota of 10 overs, but if one of the bowlers gets hammered, then you want somebody to come and fill in for those three four overs. Hardik Pandya has to it, India have to use him because this workload management this is… if it’s at the cost of the Indian team… then that is not the correct thing as far as I’m concerned," explained Gavaskar.