For the first time since the T20 World Cup in 2021, Hardik Pandya is back in the Indian cricket squad, and his performance will be heavily scrutinized.
Hardik Pandya’s performance as the Gujarat Titans captain in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 wowed everyone. In his first season, he led his club to the crown with both the bat and the ball. Hardik Pandya took 3/17 in four overs in the final against Rajasthan Royals and then scored a vital 34. In the title match, he was named ‘Player of the Match’ for his all-around effort. It also boded well for India’s cricket squad, which begins a five-match T20I series against South Africa on Thursday. Gujarat Titans coach Ashish Nehra, on the other hand, believes that after a long IPL. It’s best not to put Pandya under too much strain immediately away.
“Hardik Pandya is a name that is constantly in the news, with speculation as to whether he will bowl or not. Hardik Pandya is the type of guy who can fit into any squad as a batter, in any format, and that has been my thought for a long time. With the kind of batting he does, I’d say even in Test matches. But, since we’re talking about T20s right now, if he bowls, the team gains an advantage “In an interview with Cricbuzz, Nehra stated.
Why Hardik Pandya as the sixth option?
“The Indian team is built in such a way that they always look forward to him because none of the top-order batsmen bowl.” So, it’s been seen that Hardik is your fifth bowler, so he’s under a lot of pressure to bowl. He enjoys bowling when he is in good shape. However, it would be preferable if he was not put under any pressure to bowl those four overs every time. You’ll need five specialist bowlers for that, with Hardik Pandya as the sixth option.
“I’m not suggesting Hardik Pandya shouldn’t be considered as a fifth bowling option. With his abilities, he can also serve as your second or third bowler. But, as an allrounder, he has just returned from injury, and after a long IPL, if he can bowl four overs, that would be fantastic, but a gradual build-up would be preferable. India’s playing XI would be scrutinized thoroughly in this regard.”
After the 2021 T20 World Cup, Hardik Pandya is back in the Indian cricket squad, and his performance will be heavily scrutinized.