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India all-rounder Hardik Pandya expresses confidence in the team’s fast-bowling depth ahead of Australia ODIs

Stand-in Indian captain Hardik Pandya expressed confidence in his team’s ability to perform in the upcoming ODI series against Australia, despite the absence of star fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah. Pandya, who will lead the Indian team in the first ODI in the absence of regular captain Rohit Sharma, stated in a pre-match press conference that Bumrah’s absence does not weaken India’s fast bowling department.

Bumrah has been out of action since September 2021 due to a recurring back injury, which caused him to miss India’s T20 World Cup campaign in Australia. However, Pandya remains optimistic about the team’s bowling depth and believes they have enough firepower to trouble their opponents.

“Jassi hasn’t been around for quite some now. The bowling group, we have been doing a decent job. They’re all experienced now….the number of games they have played. Having Jassi makes a massive difference but to be very honest, we aren’t much bothered because the guys who have taken the role of Jassi, I am quite confident they’ll be doing very well. It gives us good confidence,” Pandya said.

While acknowledging the importance of Bumrah, Pandya emphasized the need to find solutions in case the pacer is not available. “I have been in that situation where back could be a problem….we’ll miss him but we have to find solutions if he isn’t around. If he is, he is of course welcome. There’s a lot of time to think about how we can go forward,” he added.

India will take on Australia in a three-match ODI series, with the first game scheduled to be played on March 19 in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.