'When time is right, you'll see': Suryakumar's blunt take to India's unaddressed Hardik Pandya concern ahead of SA T20Is
Suryakumar Yadav revealed that India have their plans in order to address the sixth-bowler issue in the T20I contest against South Africa.
Despite India's stellar 4-1 win against Australia in the home T20I series earlier this month, former Aussie cricketer Simon Katich was quick to identify the major flaw that remain unaddressed even as it remained the primary concern behind the team's heartbreaking ODI World Cup final loss in Ahmedabad last month. If the disappointing defeat taught India anything is the need for a back-up for Hardik Pandya, who continues to recover from the injury he incurred in October during the World Cup, and the management failed to address the issue during the Australia series. But Suryakumar Yadav, who has been retained as the captain for the second-straight T20I contest, this time against South Africa, revealed that India have their plans in order for a sixth-bowling option.
Despite the learnings from the World Cup final loss, Suryakumar did not turn towards a sixth bowler through the course of the five T20Is India played against Australia. In fact, a medium-pace-bowling all-rounder in Shivam Dube was unutilised in the contest before being dropped for the three-match T20I series against South Africa that begins from Sunday onwards in Durban. But even in the playing XI, India had part-time options on Yashasvi Jaiswal and Tilak Varma- but the captain was content with the primary options at his disposal.
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Speaking the media on Saturday in the pre-match presser, Suryakumar revealed that in the contest against South Africa, which stands as India's penultimate stop before the T20 World Cup in June, the matter will be attended to.
"We do have a sixth-bowling option," Suryakumar said. "There are lots of people to bowl. When the time is right, you will see. Not just six, there could be seven or eight too."
India have only six T20I matches in hand, a three-match Afghanistan contest being next, to decide on their T20 World Cup squad. But Suryakumar admitted that India aren't too perturbed over the it, adding that the IPL 2024 season precedes the World Cup which will also give the selectors time to take their call.
"I feel there are limited T20s going forward, before the T20 World Cup, but then we play 14 league games in the IPL as well," Suryakumar said. "And players who have been playing in these T20 internationals... they've played a lot of games, and they have a lot of experience under their belt. So, we don't think there will be an issue or any problem in selecting the squad because everyone knows their roles really well and responsibilities really well - [like] how to play in different situations."
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