India likely to pick Hardik Pandya ahead of Bhuvneshwar: Sanjay Manjrekar

India likely to pick Hardik Pandya ahead of Bhuvneshwar: Sanjay Manjrekar

Manjrekar would prefer opting for Pandya as the third seamer over Bhuvi.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

Team India’s planning and preparation for the World Cup would have got a new perspective after the setback in their first warm-up game against New Zealand. The Men in Blue are one of the firm favourites to win the coveted title in England this year. However, the Kiwis gave them a reality check early on thrashing them by six wickets.

And as India look to return to winning ways in the second warm-up game, scheduled to be played against Bangladesh ahead of the main event, former batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has advised the team-management not to pick Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the playing eleven. The cricketer-turned-commentator said that instead of Bhuvneshwar, India should make sure all-rounder Hardik Pandya is in the eleven.

Manjrekar pointed out Bhuvneshwar’s limitations before stating that the right-arm pacer has not quite managed to make a mark in the 50-overs format. He also said that Bhuvneshwar looks a bit ineffective in the death overs due to the lack of pace and said that India are likely to prefer Pandya ahead of him.

“In 50-overs cricket, we don’t quite see the best of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He has a great attitude and is someone who isn’t gifted. He has worked against all odds to make a contribution. He tends to strain at times in the death during 50-overs cricket due to his lack of pace and strength.

“India is likely to drop Bhuvneshwar and get Hardik Pandya in because of the batting ability. He is a kind of bowler the world has seen a lot of,” Sanjay Manjrekar was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

India lineup for the World Cup:

In case, India drop Bhuvneshwar, they are likely to play with two frontline pacers and as many spinners. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are more than likely to lead the pace attack while Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal will shoulder the responsibility of the spin department. In Bhuvneshwar’s absence, Pandya is likely to play the role of the third pacer.

India face Bangladesh on May 28 at Cardiff in the second warm-up match before the World Cup begins from May 30.

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