With Hardik Pandya being completely deployed as a batsman for the moment, Team India has been facing a dilemma with regards to the 6th bowling option in the team. In the ongoing India's tour of Australia, Team India skipper Virat Kohli, so far, has gone with a 5-bowling combination for each match though Hardik was made to bowl a few overs in the second ODI.
However, Hardik ended up hurting his back in the process and the team management is in a conundrum regarding an extra bowling all-rounder. With team India struggling with bowling options in the four games (3 ODIs and 1 T20I) so far, former Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir has devised a new strategy to cope up with the situation.
Gambhir, during an interaction with ESPNCricinfo, has vouched for the promotion of Ravindra Jadeja at No. 5 after seeing the latter's blitzkrieg while KL Rahul moves further up at No. 4 spot.
“I would probably want him to bat at number five because then you can have KL Rahul bat at number four, Virat Kohli at number three and then Jadeja at five, Pandya at six, and you can have another all-rounder at number seven," the cricketer-turned-politician said.
"Use his form. My point has always been very simple. If you make someone bat at number seven, he will bat like a number seven. If you make him bat like a number four or five, he will bat like it and that is how it has always been with everyone,” he added.
In order to provide more balance to the team in the shortest format, Gambhir also urged Virat Kohli to play an extra all-rounder in the form of either Axar Patel or Krunal Pandya.
“You ask someone to open the batting and he starts thinking like an opener. Jadeja has got the ability. We all know that he has got the ability, he has a Test hundred, got runs in all conditions in white-ball cricket."
"So, why not push him at number five and see whether we can work with the combination because you open up one spot you can play a number six bowler who can chip in with overs. You can play another left-arm spinner like Krunal Pandya or Axar Patel,” Gambhir concluded.