World Cup 2023: Virat Kohli & Shubman Gill Step Up as 6th Bowler in Hardik Pandya’s Absence

World Cup 2023, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, SuryaKumar Yadav

With Hardik Pandya’s absence in the squad against England, team India’s specialist batters have taken the sixth bowler duty in their hands. The vice-captain is set to skip at least the upcoming 2 games due to a grade-one ligament tear in his ankle. Due to this ligament injury, he might not be able to play until late November. During the practice session in Lucknow Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill and SuryaKumar Yadav was seen doing bowling practice.

Also Read: World Cup 2023: Hardik Pandya Participation Hangs in Balance

During India’s optional evening session at the Ekana Cricket Stadium, Virat Kohli, Shubhman Gill and Suryakumar Yadav were seen bowling a few deliveries. The first player to test out his part-time seam was Virat Kohli, who bowled a few deliveries to Shubman Gill and skipper Rohit Sharma before starting his batting stint. Formerly, Kohli finished Hardik’s over against Bangladesh in Pune after the all-rounder had to back out from the game due to an ankle injury.


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Later in the practice session, off-breaks were delivered by Shubman Gill and Surya Kumar Yadav, neither of them had bowled in an ODI before. In an intriguing role reversal, Gill bowled to Mohammed Siraj, while Yadav delivered a few balls to Sharma and Shreyas Iyer and was even able to deceive the latter. In 2014, Yadav was involved in an alleged illegal bowling action during a Champions League Twenty20 match while playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders.

The specialist bowlers also practised their batting techniques while the frontline batsmen rolled their arms over. First to bat, Jasprit Bumrah took throwdowns from batting coach Vikram Rathour and batted for almost forty-five minutes.

Only two players from the team, Mohammed Shami and Ishan Kishan, did not attend the optional training session.

Prior to the World Cup, one of the main issues with the Indian team was their top-order batsmen’s inability to contribute with a few overs and their bowlers’ inconsistent ability to score runs down the order. This aspect is further emphasised by the fact that all-rounder Pandya will be out of the lineup for at least the next two games. He is receiving treatment from a specialist from England at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru after missing last Sunday’s match against New Zealand in Dharamsala.