Aus beat India 1st ODI: Hardik Pandya admits, ‘I am not yet ready as a bowler’

Aus beat India in 1st ODI : India all-rounder Hardik Pandya, whose rearguard action proved insufficient for India as the bowlers had already leaked 374 runs to Australian batsman in the first One-day International on Friday, said that the side is missing a sixth bowling option who can take the load of a bowler.

Pandya, who was picked as an all-round option providing a sixth bowler’s role but hasn’t been bowling as he isn’t match-fit to deliver that role, also said that India could also look at someone who has played for India before, perhaps in the Pandya family.

His brother Krunal bowls left-arm spin and bats too and is an integral part of Mumbai Indians franchise.

“That has always been the question. We have to find an all-rounder and nurture. When I came into the circuit, I was not an all-rounder… but I worked hard on it,” said Pandya in the post-match press conference at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

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“It was always going to be difficult without a sixth bowler (with the regular bowlers going for runs). The sixth bowler’s role is more to give cushion to someone from among the regular bowlers who is having a bad day. Maybe, we’ll have to find someone who has played for India and groom him. Maybe, we should look into Pandya family,” said the batsman, who hit seven fours and four sixes in his 90-run innings.
Pandya added that he would love to bowl also but he is not yet match-fit.

“I am working at my bowling at the nets. But I am not yet match-fit with my bowling…. I will come at the right time to bowl when needed. I am looking at the long-term goal. I want to be 100 per cent fit to my bowling capacity. I won’t exhaust myself. The process (for me to return to bowling) is going on. My bowling isn’t ready,” added Pandya.

Pandya also said that he wants to do both roles ideally. “When I bat, I think of myself as a batsman.”