PUNE: India skipper Virat Kohli has explained the reason why Hardik Pandya has not been utilised as a bowler in the ongoing ODI series against England.
In the second ODI, which India lost by six wickets, there were calls for utilising Pandya as a bowler but he was not called upon to bowl. Speaking after the match, Kohli cleared the air on why the all-rounder is not bowling in ODIs when he did bowl the full quota of four overs in the T20I series against England. “We need to manage his (Hardik) body. Need to understand where we need this skill set. Did utilise him in the T20Is but in the ODIs, it’s about managing his workload. We have Test cricket in England coming up too. So it’s important for us to have him fit,” Kohli told host broadcaster Star Sports at the post-match presentation on Friday.
Hardik impressed one and all with his bowling in the T20I series and he even came up with a match-winning spell in the fourth T20I against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium. Later this year, India and England are slated to play a five-match Test series in the UK.
Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes played knocks of 124 and 99 respectively as England defeated India by six wickets with 39 balls to spare in the second ODI to level the three-match series 1-1.
The decider will now be played on Sunday. Chasing 337, England did not break a sweat as Stokes and Bairstow shared a 175-run stand for the second wicket. The partnership saw the left-handed Stokes taking a special liking to spinners Krunal Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav.
Earlier, riding on the platform set by centurion KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant, India scored 63 runs in the last five overs to finish on 336/6 in the allotted 50 overs.