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India vs Australia | Groom other all-rounders, I am not ready to bowl yet: Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya tells team to groom other all-rounders

Sydney, November 27: Hardik Pandya on Friday (November 27) said he is not ready for the workload of a bowler at the moment, and urged the team management to groom other players with multiple skill-sets.

Hardik did not bowl in the first ODI against Australia here, which India lost by 66 runs and missed a sixth bowler. Hardik played as a pure batsman even in the IPL 2020 for Mumbai Indians as he is remodelling his action after a back surgery.

"I am working on my bowling. I am going to come in when the time is right," said Pandya, who scored 90 off 76 balls, at the post-match press conference.

For the Baroda man, it is important that once he starts bowling in match situations, he is able to deliver at optimum speeds required for producing quality performances.

"I want to be at 100 per cent of my bowling capacity. I want to bowl at speeds that are required at the international level," said the all-rounder, who has started bowling in the nets.

With another 10 months left for the ICC T20 World Cup, Pandya indicated that starting bowling is something that he wants to do keeping long-term goals and big events in mind.

"We are thinking about long term. We are thinking about the T20 World Cup and other important tournaments where my bowling will be of even more importance," he said. "When you've 375 to chase, everyone has to play with intent. Nothing else one can do. You cannot be planning too much."

Pandya made no bones that India should also look at all-round options considering that a sixth bowling option is a must for balance of an ODI team.

"I think, maybe, we will have to find someone who has already played for India and groom them and find a way to make them play," he said. "It is always going to be difficult when you go with five bowlers, because then if somebody is having an off day, you won't have someone to fulfil (that role)," he said.

".....more than injury, it is about the sixth bowler's role. If someone is having a bad day, so the other guys gets more cushion," he said.

Asked about options available, Pandya in a tongue-in-cheek reply urged the selectors to look at his elder brother Krunal, who is a spin bowing all-rounder.

"...may be you can name it who all are there... maybe we should look in the Pandya family only," he quipped.

Pandya said he feels a lot calmer now after becoming a father. "When you have a child then automatically you have more work, you think about life in a different way and I think my perspective towards my family has changed, as a person I have changed, and I think the change has come for the better," he said.

He is longing to see his son Agasthya, who will be four months old when he returns to India after the limited-overs series.

"I am missing my child. When I left, the child was 15 days and now the child will be of four months. When I will return, yes a lot of things have changed but for better and this is the best time in life," Pandya concluded.

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Story first published: Friday, November 27, 2020, 20:15 [IST]
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