Virat Kohli

Following Team India‘s embarrassing defeat in the second ODI against England on Saturday, former Indian opening batsman, Virender Sehwag, slammed the team-management for not taking the ODI series seriously.

One of the main reasons behind the hosts losing the game was the absence of a sixth bowling option as both spinners including the likes of Krunal Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav leaked runs at an economy rate of 12 and 8.4, respectively.

Though all-rounder Hardik Pandya was a part of the Playing XI, he didn’t bowl even a single over, which raised a few eyebrows. When Indian skipper Virat Kohli was asked the reason behind not handing the ball to Hardik, he said:

“We need to manage his (Hardik) body. Need to understand where we need this skill set. Did utilize him in the T20Is but in the ODIs, it’s about managing his workload. We have Test cricket in England coming up too. So it’s important for us to have him fit,” he said.

Sehwag, however, wasn’t satisfied with Virat’s response. He highlighted that since there won’t be any international cricket for the next 2-3 months, and Hardik hasn’t played much cricket in the past few months, so he could have easily bowled a few overs to help the team.

“We only have the IPL next. So you are saying that we have no problem losing the ODI series because we had to manage Hardik Pandya’s workload. If his workload doesn’t include 4-5 overs then it’s wrong,” Sehwag was quoted as saying on Cricbuzz.

“But it also shouldn’t be the case that he isn’t bowling even a single over. Fielding for 50 overs also causes fatigue. So if he adds 4-5 overs to it, it shouldn’t make a huge difference on his workload,” he added.

“I don’t know who decides that Hardik Pandya’s workload has become excessive. Since he has come back from his [back] surgery, he hasn’t played much cricket. He sat out in the Tests, played the 5 T20Is, and bowled in 2-3 of those… so he hasn’t taken any load yet.

“But yes, this is a possibility that he himself might have asked for a break from bowling in the ODIs to prevent any injuries before the IPL,” the 42-year-old concluded.

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