Gautam Gambhir feels Shivam Dube would’ve been a better pick for Asia Cup 2023 over Shardul Thakur as Hardik Pandya’s backup.
India’s squad for the Asia Cup 2023 has received a mixed reaction, with a section of fans and experts pointing out the apparent ‘flaws’ that exist in the team. Highlighting one of the problem areas in the team, former India star Gautam Gambhir asserted the need to have a proper backup for Hardik Pandya. Though Shardul Thakur has shown over time how productive he can be with the bat, Gambhir doesn’t think he is the ideal backup for Hardik. The former India opening batter, instead, wanted Shivam Dube to have gotten the nod.
“One name they (the select should have definitely considered is Shivam Dube because of the kind of form he is in. You need a backup for Hardik Pandya. Shardul Thakur can’t be that. Shardul Thakur cannot be Hardik’s backup,” he said in a chat on Star Sports.
Gambhir’s opinion, however, met strong resistance from former India cricketer Suni Joshi who cautioned the selectors from mixing ODIs and T20Is.
“No, I don’t think so. We have seen Shivam Dube. He would’ve been scoring in T20s but this is entirely format and a different tournament. With due respect to Gautam, this is my view. Shivam Dube has struggled with the ball and also in the field.”
“It’s a decent squad, according to me a nice squad is picked, but somewhere a wrist spinner is needed. It’s a seam-heavy squad and I believe either Ravi Bishnoi or Yuzvendra Chahal should have been picked because of conditions, when you are playing in India it’s important to keep two wrist spinners in the squad,” he opined.
“Somewhere it’s a one-dimensional attack, two left-arm spinners, one wrist spinner and other pacers, it’s a seam-heavy attack (four-seamers). I think it’s a place where they could do better if they have selected one out of either leg-spinner. I believe you could give a break to Mohammad Shami and the form in which Prasidh Krishna is, you could pick a wrist spinner,” Gambhir explained.