Indian cricket legend points out the only problem for the Indian cricket team right now

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Shikhar Dhawan’s form only concern for India, points out Sunil Gavaskar

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SportsCafe Desk

07/12/2018

Sunil Gavaskar has pointed out that Shikhar Dhawan, who didn’t score freely in the T20I series, would be the only concern for India going into the ODI series. He also stated that Hardik Pandya would be crucial for India with both bat and ball and insisted that Jasprit Bumrah’s absence would be felt.

India started their tour of the United Kingdom (UK) on a grand note with a couple of resounding wins against Ireland at the Malahide Cricket Ground in Dublin. The Men in Blue carried their form in the T20I series against England as well and Virat Kohli and co. were clinical and thumped the hosts 2-1. However, despite the victories, Shikhar Dhawan’s failure at the top could not be overlooked.  

In the first match against Ireland, Dhawan notched up a half-century but managed only 19 runs in three encounters against England. While David Willey picked him up in Manchester and Bristol, he succumbed to a run-out in Cardiff. Sunil Gavaskar has pointed out that Dhawan’s form would be the only concern for India going forward in the ODI series but insisted that the Indian opener is better in the 50-over format. 

“In batting, the only concern is Shikhar Dhawan who didn't score many in the T20 series but he relishes the 50 over format,” wrote Sunil Gavaskar in his column for TOI. 

He stated that both the teams have given glimpses of what could be expected in the ODI series, but insisted that the extra 30 overs would make a big difference. 

“Now that the T20 series has been done with and both teams have flexed their muscles and showed a glimpse of what to expect, comes the ODI series. The extra 30 overs makes a big difference for there is time for recovery for both the batting and bowling teams even from tough situations,” he wrote.

Just before the India series, England were coming off a successful series against Australia, which also included the record score of 481. England dominated completely Australia and whitewashed them to claim the number 1 ODI spot. Gavaskar appreciated the character of the English team.  

“England have just completed a whitewash of the Australians and while the Aussies were not a full-strength team, especially in the bowling, it is the win in the final One-dayer where Jos Buttler along with the last two batsmen got 90-odd runs to take England home that showed the character of this England team,” he wrote. 

Considering the fact that English summer has been more like Indian summer, wickets have been batting friendly, with little assistance to spinners. Gavaskar stated that India would have to pick their combination of bowlers according to the wicket. 

“India too will be thinking whether to go with both Chahal and Kuldeep or just pick one spinner. Of course, if the weather stays bright and sunny, there's more chance for the spinners on a dry pitch to get the ball to grip and turn,” Gavaskar wrote.

Prior to the England series, Jasprit Bumrah suffered an injury which ruled him out of the England series. Gavaskar stated that Bumrah’s absence would be felt in the bowling lineup. Praising Hardik Pandya for his amazing performance in the last T20I in which he took 4 wickets for 38 runs and later helped India reach the target with a quick 33-off-14-balls, Gavaskar insisted that Pandya would be crucial for India with the bat as well as the ball. 

“Bumrah's absence will be felt for he combines brilliantly with Bhuvaneshwar at the top as well as at the end of the opposition innings. Pandya put his hand up and bagged four wickets to break the England momentum at Bristol and he will be crucial with both bat and ball,” he added. 

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