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Hardik Pandya gives the team a crucial balance, concedes Shikhar Dhawan

The dashing left-hander said India are looking to make history in the ODI series too by winning their first-ever bilateral series Down Under.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After all the uproar over all-rounder, Hardik Pandya’s controversial remarks on air and his suspension from the Indian team, the counter viewpoint over the former’s cricketing utility has started making its presence felt. Pandya’s absence in the team has given rise to an opinion that it is hurting the team’s balance and it received approval from limited-overs opener Shikhar Dhawan on the eve of the decider against Australia in Melbourne.

India have gone for runs in both the ODIs they played in Sydney and Adelaide and on both occasions, they have gone with five specialist bowlers. Ravindra Jadeja, who has a decent batting hand, is donning the No.7 batsman’s role while the general opinion is that Pandya plays better in that position and his bowling capacity makes him more an effective all-rounder. Overall, it adds to the balance to the batsmen-bowlers ratio in the side.

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Dhawan backs Khaleel & Siraj

“The balance that Hardik (Pandya) creates when he’s in the team is very crucial for our team,” Dhawan said in a pre-match press conference though he also backed young pacers Khaleel Ahmed and Mohammed Siraj – who made his debut in Adelaide – who have failed to impress in the two matches played so far. While Ahmed went wicketless giving 55 runs in eight overs, Siraj went for 76 runs in 10 overs without a reward. Dhawan said it was a learning curve for both the pace bowlers and the team will back them.

“Even when Kedar (Jadhav) plays, the overs of off-spin he bowls are very beneficial for us…I would say he is our golden arm, and he always takes wickets when he comes on. So often, he’s broken a big partnership. An all-rounder in Tests and limited-overs’ cricket is equally important.” Dhawan, who scored a crucial 32 in Adelaide after falling for a first-ball duck in Sydney, said.

The dashing left-hander said India are looking to make history in the ODI series too by winning their first-ever bilateral series Down Under. India made history earlier this month by beating the Baggy Greens 2-1 in the Test series – the first time ever on their soil.

Watch: 5 records created during AUSvIND 2nd ODI

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