Team India will have to continue being brave in their approach in all the series leading into the 50-over World Cup in October-November, feels Hardik Pandya, India’s captain for the first ODI against Australia in Mumbai on Friday.
“I don’t think we have tried anything new. We’ll be trying to be braver, which I think we have been in the last couple of series.
“All these bilaterals are as challenging, and they can get close to the wire. That’s the only way we’re going to learn and start playing under the pressure of knockouts,” Pandya, captaining in the absence of regular skipper Rohit Sharma (missing the game due to personal commitments), said on Thursday.
Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant will continue to be out for quite some time, while Shreyas Iyer’s resurfacing lower-back injury has added to India’s woes with seven months to go for the World Cup. Pandya, however, insists on finding solutions till Shreyas is unavailable.
“There’s no timeline (for Shreyas’ return). We have to hope for the best to wish him a speedy recovery.
“I have been in that situation where back could be a problem. We’ll miss him, but we have to find solutions if he isn’t around. If he is, he’s of course welcome. There’s a lot of time to think about how we can go forward,” Pandya said.
The seamer all-rounder also ruled out considering the option of returning to Test cricket when India take on Australia in the World Test Championship final at The Oval this June. “I haven’t done even 10 per cent to reach there,” Pandya said.
All-rounders in Aus plan
Mumbai: Mitchell Marsh feels having more all-rounders will provide Australia “flexibility and depth”, which will be crucial as they look to experiment with their lineup in the ODI series, keeping in mind the 50-over World Cup in India.
“For the balance of our team, having as many all-rounders in here as we can is really important for the structure we line up with,” Marsh told reporters on Thursday, the eve of the first ODI against India.
“We’ve seen really good teams in the past, England have guys batting at No. 8 who are genuine batters, and it gives you the ability to either set really big totals or chase big totals.”
“We might just play a few different line-ups, experimenting with a few guys but the mindset is to come here and win the series.”