Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir spoke for the first time about suspended cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul at an event in Bangalore. He feels Hardik Pandya could have made a difference but Ravindra Jadeja is his replacement. On the other hand, he felt that KL Rahul has also been replaced by Ambati Rayudu, who has already grabbed his opportunity and taken the spot for the World Cup squad. “One person does not change anything. The core still remains the same. KL Rahul wasn’t even there in the playing XI because we had Rayudu who did fabulously well against West Indies, so he deserved a chance before Rahul in the one-day format,” Gambhir said at an event program in Bengaluru.

“Yes Hardik Pandya [might have made a difference], but you’ve replaced him with Ravindra Jadeja, who again is an allrounder. We only have, what, ten ODIs left before the World Cup? So we should maintain consistency and give people who are going to play the first game of the World Cup these ten games and see how they deliver,” he added.

Meanwhile, India once again produced an all-round clinical effort in the white-ball format that has been synonymous in the recent past with the men in blue. In their first outing, Virat Kohli’s men crush New Zealand before a bizarre and unprecedented sun-induced interruption overshadowed the on-field action on Wednesday. Entering the five-match rubber following maiden Test and ODI series triumphs in Australia, Team India signalled their intent with a clinical display, which saw them chase down a revised target of 156 by eights wickets in 34.5 overs.

The Duckworth-Lewis method came into the picture for an interruption which was not caused by rain for the first time. On a near-perfect day, the only thing that didn’t go their way was the toss. But India made light of that by bowling out the home team for a paltry 157 in 38 overs. Wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav was the most successful bowler, returning figures of 4/39 in 10 overs, while seamer Mohammed Shami finished with an excellent 3/19 in six overs. There were also two wickets for leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.