Former India spinner Sarandeep Singh has opined that Krunal Pandya cannot be India's fifth bowler in ODI cricket. Singh added that for Krunal to play in ODIs, Hardik Pandya would need to bowl a few overs.
Krunal Pandya made his 50-over debut in the first ODI against England. The all-rounder smashed a stellar 58* off 31 balls, achieving the feat of fastest 50 by a debutant in ODI history (off 26 balls).
However, the southpaw's bowling ability has come under the scanner. Former selector Sarandeep Singh believes the left-arm spinner cannot provide ten overs in ODI cricket for India.
"If we talk about ODIs, if Hardik is not bowling, Krunal can't be your fifth bowler. He batted beautifully, but Krunal can't give you ten overs, he is a good T20 player, but when it comes to ODIs, he doesn't have the skill to challenge the batsmen," Sarandeep Singh told PTI.
"So, if Krunal plays, Hardik needs to bowl. If one bowler is hit or injured, there is no extra option if Hardik doesn't bowl. His workload has to be managed too, but you have to play proper bowlers," Singh added.
In the 20 overs which Pandya Senior bowled in the ODI series, the left-arm spinner registered figures of 1-160, conceding runs at an economy of 8. His inability to vary his pace and get any purchase off the surface would be a concern for the Indian team management.
Sunil Gavaskar has his say on Krunal Pandya's bowling
Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar echoed similar sentiments to Sarandeep Singh. Like the latter, Gavaskar said that Krunal Pandya cannot be relied on to bowl 10 overs in ODI cricket.
"I will say the Indian bowling was probably a little weak because Krunal Pandya cannot be your fifth bowler; he cannot be a bowler who bowls 10 overs. You need a bowler like Yuzvendra Chahal on such pitches, who can bowl 10 overs," Sunil Gavaskar said on Star Sports after the second ODI where Krunal Pandya conceded 72 runs off his six overs.
With Ravindra Jadeja expected to recover from his thumb injury soon, Krunal Pandya thus might find it hard to make the XI in the 50-over format in the future.