Hardik Pandya has been suspended following Koffee With Karan episode due to his sexist comments on the show. As a result, Pandya will be missing the New Zealand series starting from January 23. Virat Kohli explained on Tuesday how Pandya’s absence will be felt in order to get the ideal bowling combination.
The team already have issues with the third specialist pacer. Khaleel Ahmed and Mohammed Siraj both were tested against Australia in the first two ODIs and then Hardik's replacement Vijay Shankar bowled a steady spell in the last ODI Melbourne. When asked about an ideal bowling combination ahead of the first match against New Zealand on Wednesday, Kohli explained, "Depends on the all-rounder, to be honest. If you see the strongest sides in the world, they have two all-rounders at the least, some sides have three, so that gives you a lot of bowling options."
Virat Kohli Kohli thinks if a seam-bowling all-rounder is available he can fulfil the job of a pacer and a third fast bowler may not be required. "Only if someone like a Vijay Shankar or a Hardik doesn't play, then (only) three fast bowlers makes sense. Because if an all-rounder can chip in with a few overs of seam up, then you don't necessarily need a guy bowling 140kmph as the third bowler along with the two fast bowlers," Kohli said ahead of the first ODI at McLean Park.
The captain of India cricket team indicated that few players like Shubman Gill could be tried before the World Cup. He told, "You don't want to be too rigid because you want to be flexible in your mind and in your preparation to be able to compete during a big tournament like the World Cup,"