Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir has supported Hardik Pandya in the playing XI over Manish Pandey. Gambhir feels it wouldn't be a good idea to keep Hardik out and pick Pandey to play at number six.
Hardik showed terrific hitting at lower order in the IPL 2020 and Gambhir thinks India should continue with him instead of pushing Manish to the number six spot, who looked good at 3 for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
“I think it’s more to do with the form he showed in the IPL because if you see, he was batting at No. 6 and Manish Pandey at No. 3,” Gambhir said in a video posted by ESPNCricinfo.
“So, if you push Pandey and No. 6, you drop someone who’s already been batting at that position and has shown a lot of form in the IPL, it probably makes no sense. It’s a valid question whether he fits in the 50-over format as a batter. But again, I think his current form has given him the nod of playing at No. 6.”
Gambhir has more faith in Pandya for the number six spot considering his power-hitting ability. “It’s about positions as well. If Shreyas Iyer is not doing well, you can push someone like Manish Pandey at No.4. But between Pandey at No.6 and Pandya at No. 6, I will go with Hardik Pandya,” Gambhir said.
Hardik played his first ODI match since September 2019. He hasn't featured in the side because of injury which also took away his bowling option for India. Even in IPL for Mumbai Indians, Pandya played as a proper batsman.