India and Australia are involved in a heated cricketing tussle on the latter’s lawn. The visitors flagged off their tour with a disappointing loss against the mighty Kangaroos in the first two ODIs at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground. Talking about the chinks in the Virat Kohli-led troops’ armor, the bowling unit has got no answers to the tough questions posed by the Aussie opening pair in the form of David Warner and Aaron Finch.
In the two ODIs played till now, Men-in-yellow has posted a first-wicket record stand of 298 runs wreaking havoc on the off-colored Indian pace artillery. Innumerable questions continue to pop-up owing to the ordinary Indian bowling performance on foreign soil.
The tentative unavailability of Hardik Pandya in the Indian pace department due to fitness issues has hurt the team holistically. Adding pressure to the opposition batting line-up with his hit-the-deck deliveries, the batting all-rounder brings an extra weightage to the bowling arsenal.
Since Hardik didn’t don the all-rounder’s hat much in the current high-octane series, this article sheds light on other alternatives for team India. Interestingly, there are 5 Top all-rounders who may play his role to perfection.
Here are 5 all-rounders who can make up for Hardik Pandya in India’s ODI team
1. Shivam Dube
Earlier, Shivam Dube was the captain’s go-to person in Hardik’s absence. Debuting for India in the fifty-over format against West Indies in 2019, he did not have a great start in his International career. However, the Mumbai-based batting all-rounder has shown sparks of brilliance with both the bat and ball in the shortest format of the game.
Out of the 12 appearances so far, he has scored 105 runs at a strike rate of 136.36 and picked 5 wickets as a medium pacer aiding the Indian all-rounder’s pool. Ability to don Hardik’s hat seamlessly, Shivam can make use of the bowler-friendly pitches and pull no punches against the batting dynamos on the other end.
The 27-years-old has weaved good performance in the domestic circuit. In his List A career, he has plucked 35 crucial breakthroughs and mustered 623 runs in 37 matches. Thus, the heavyweight holds the potential to turn the tables for the Indian team.
2. Axar Patel
The Gujarat-based all-rounder Axar Patel possesses plenty of talent under his sleeves. He donned the Indian jersey for the first time against Bangladesh in 2014. Eventually, Axar has proved his mettle over the years. In 38 ODIs, the tweaker has smothered 181 runs with the willow at a strike rate of 127. Talking about his spinning art, the experienced cricketer baffled the heavyweights grabbing 45 wickets at an impressive economy of 4.43.
All in all, the southpaw can live up to the billing against the strong opposition. Adding fine balance in the middle-order department, the Indian team will surely benefit from his presence in the squad.
Moreover, he has thrashed 2036 massive runs with the bat and scalped 170-odd wickets in List A cricket. Hence, Axar can be the crucial bone when the team is under intense pressure.
3. Vijay Shankar
The Tamil Nadu based cricketer broke into the limelight in his debut tournament. Vijay Shankar’s solidity with the bat and usefulness with the ball earned him a place in the national team for the Nidahas Trophy featuring Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. As it turned out, he secured the Man of the Match award in the league stage for his bowling performance.
The talisman boasts considerable experience on his shoulders. In 12 ODI matches, the batting all-rounder has stitched 223 runs at a strike rate of 90 coming in the middle-order. He can bowl quick-fire spells breaking long partnerships with the ball.
Also, he has a fantastic record in the List A career for his home team. In 88 matches, the right-hander has smashed 2286 runs and picked 54 wickets much to his credit. Eventually, Vijay’s natural game can prove to be a game-changer against the Aussies.
4. Rahul Tewatia
The Haryana born cricketer has been the shining light for Rajasthan Royals in the 13th IPL. Rahul Tewatia got into the eyes of the fans and experts after he stormed 5 sixes in an over against Sheldon Cottrell of Kings XI Punjab taking the team towards triumph. However, the pink army bagged the wooden spoon at the end of the competition but he stood as the silver lining for the team.
The uncapped cricketer has played 21 matches in the List-A Indian domestic format. He has hammered 484 runs laced up with 45 fours and 18 sixes. With the leather, the 27-year-old has gripped 27 crucial breakthroughs. Fitting into the Men-in-blues’ allrounder shoes perfectly, Rahul can steal the spotlight with his exceptional cricketing craft.
Due to Hardik’s limited presence on the field, the team management must eye on this promising player who can turn the intense matches from the jaws of defeat.
5. Harshal Patel
The Haryana-based all-rounder, Harshal Patel has risen up the ranks as he plays in the world’s best T20 league, IPL. The 30-year-old plied his trade for Delhi Capitals in the recently-concluded season. All in all, he has played 48 matches for different franchises till now. Making his presence count, Patel has racked 128 runs with the wood and accumulated 46 wickets with the leather.
In List A cricket, the right-hander has posted 570 runs and bagged 80 wickets in 57 matches. Hence, Patel must be waiting for an opportunity to play for the Indian team.
Driven with energy and smoking fitness, Harshal makes his candidature extremely strong as he looks forward to make-up for the half-fit Hardik Pandya in the limited-overs away series. It will be exciting to see whether the debutant makes it or withers away if given a chance to walk down the dressing room.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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