Hardik Pandya is yet to bowl in this edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and former India captain Sunil Gavaskar reckons that it is a big blow not just for Mumbai Indians (MI) but also for the Indian team. The all-rounder underwent back surgery and has not made a complete recovery yet and has bowled sporadically since then.
Hardik is part of India's squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, but if he cannot bowl it will affect the balance of the team. "Hardik Pandya, not bowling is a big blow, not just for Mumbai Indians, but for India as well, because he was taken in the team as an all-rounder. And if you are in the team, batting at No.6 or No.7, and you're not able to bowl, then it makes it difficult for the captain," Gavaskar said on Star Sports show 'Cricket Connected'.
"He doesn't get the flexibility and option that is so required for somebody batting at No.6 or 7 like an all-rounder," he added.
The batting great also feels Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan have taken things a little lightly after being picked in the Indian side. "I think it looks to me like Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan have just relaxed a little bit after getting the India cap," Gavaskar said.
"They might not have, but some of the shots they are playing it looks like they are trying to play these big shots just because they are India players."
Suryakumar made his international T20 debut against England in March earlier this year and played his first ODI against Sri Lanka at Colombo in July. Ishan, an explosive top-order batsman and a wicketkeeper, has managed just 107 runs from the eight IPL games he has played this season.
According to former India captain Gavaskar, who has 10,122 Test runs, it is important to get the short selection right. "Sometimes what happens is, you gotta give yourself a little bit of time, and you have got to get your shot selection right.
"I think that is where they have missed this time around, where their shot selection has not been exactly correct, and that's why they've got out cheaply," added Gavaskar while speaking about why MI players might be out of form.
(With inputs from PTI)