India have backup options for all-rounders but they only look at Hardik Pandya, feels Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar has expressed that players like Bhuvneshwar haven’t been given enough opportunities by the Indian management to transform into complete all-rounders. Gavaskar feels that Hardik Pandya is the only player being given more attention as the prime all-rounder, over the last few years.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya has been a regular member of India’s white-ball set-up since he made his international debut in 2016, with him regarded as one of the best all-rounders in the world. Across the past 5 years, the Indian team management has backed the Mumbai Indians star despite his injury woes.

Pandya is currently having a bad patch where he is yet to create any impact to justify his potential in the Sri Lanka tour, and in his latest innings, he could only manage 10 runs off 12 balls in the first T20I in Colombo. The 27-year-old made 0 & 19 in the two innings he batted in the three-match ODI series where he returned with only two wickets with the ball.

In white-ball cricket, India haven’t seen many new faces in the all-rounder’s position apart from Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja, to which former Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar feels that the country has many backup options for all-rounder’s position, pointing at Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar’s fightback in the second ODI. Gavaskar is of the opinion that the management has only focused on Pandya in the last few years and thus wants them to look at other players to strengthen the depth in the all-rounder department.

“Of course, there is backup. You recently saw Deepak Chahar; he proved that he can be an all-rounder. You did not give Bhuvneshwar Kumar that opportunity. Two-three years ago, when India played in Sri Lanka, then he along with Dhoni, had won India a match. The scenario in that match was similar to the second ODI. They had lost 7-8 wickets and Bhuvneshwar and Dhoni had won that match for India,” Gavaskar told Sports Tak.

“You never even thought, but these two players could be all-rounders too. He has that batting talent. You’re only looking at one person. What has happened in the last 2-3 years is that others who deserved a lot more opportunities, haven’t got them. And that is why, now today you are looking at one player and saying ‘oh he’s not in form’. If you give these guys opportunities, you can find all-rounders,” he added.

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