India’s World Cup preparations got hit by a major setback with the convincing 6-wicket defeat against New Zealand in the first warm-up game at the Kennington Oval on Saturday. 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.
He has worked against all odds
Manjrekar mentioned that the world has still not seen the best of Bhuvneshwar in the 50-overs format. Despite not being gifted, Bhuvneshwar is someone who has a great attitude. The former cricketer stated that the pacer has worked against all the odds to make a contribution.
“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,” quoted Sanjay Manjrekar.
“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,” he added.
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 will be facing Bangladesh on May 28 at Cardiff in the second warm-up match before the World Cup begins from May 30.