T20 World Cup: Selectors show BIG faith on Hardik Pandya despite below-par show, confirms ’he will not be replaced’

T20 World Cup: 10th October D-Day for final squad submission, selectors to discuss Hardik & Chahal with Shastri & Kohli: Follow LIVE Updates
T20 World Cup: 10th October D-Day for final squad submission, selectors to discuss Hardik & Chahal with Shastri & Kohli: Follow LIVE Updates

T20 World Cup: Selectors continue to back Hardik Pandya – From an irreplaceable all-rounder, questions are being raised on Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s place in India’s T20 World Cup squad. He has not bowled in IPL 2020 and IPL 2021 and has struggled with batting in both. As he was supposed to play a crucial role in India’s T20 World Cup campaign, his form is worrisome for big-wigs in BCCI and the selection committee. However, the message from them is absolutely clear, “Hardik will not be replaced.”

“There is no question of replacing Hardik at this stage. Shardul or Deepak are not ready to take on the role. We have to develop backup in future. But now, it’s not the time, he will not be replaced” a BCCI source told InsideSport.co. Even though Hardik isn’t an all-rounder anymore, he is playing more as a batsman with some bowling ability, the selectors & the team management are still ready to back him.

T20 World Cup: Selectors show BIG faith on Hardik Pandya despite below-par show in IPL 2021, say ’he will not be replaced’
T20 World Cup: Selectors show BIG faith on Hardik Pandya despite below-par show in IPL 2021, say ’he will not be replaced’

T20 World Cup: Selectors put BIG faith on Hardik Pandya despite poor show in IPL 2021, say ‘No backup ready to don the role in T20’

T20 World Cup: While Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur have both impressed with their batting in Sri Lanka and England respectively, the selectors aren’t ready to gamble with their batting prowess in a mega event like T20 World Cup. They still feel Hardik Pandya can deliver with time and if he returns to batting form and delivers 2-3 good overs in a match he can outperform all his competitors in the team.

More than his batting, however, the concerns are regarding his bowling. Even though Hardik Pandya has confirmed he will return to bowling action soon, Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene has said, “it is unlikely that he will bowl in IPL 2021.”

“At the moment if we push too hard (to bowl), he (Hardik) might be an issue where he might even struggle and might not be an asset as a batsman. We’re trying to do what’s best for Hardik, going forward. Whether he can bowl or not in the IPL is something we will have to look at,” Jayawardene said.

T20 World Cup: Selectors put BIG faith on Hardik Pandya despite poor show in IPL 2021, say ‘No backup ready to don the role in T20’

T20 World Cup: Hardik Pandya raises more concerns for Virat Kohli, MI coach Mahela Jayawardene declares, ‘He is unlikely to bowl in IPL’

T20 World Cup: Why is Hardik Pandya’s lack of bowling worrying BCCI & selectors?

  • Lack of bowling raises questions about his fitness ahead of the mega event.
  • While he missed two matches due to a niggle, Mumbai Indians never revealed the kind and extent of the injury.
  • Hardik Pandya is considered the missing piece in a successful Team India machine in white-ball cricket and it is crucial for him to play the role of an all-rounder and not just a one-dimensional player.
  • Hardik has bowled only 42 overs the entire 2021 and that is a problem for going to a mega tournament where the team relies on his wicket-taking deliveries.
  • In IPL, he hasn’t bowled for 875 days and that takes away the all-rounder tag.
  • Selecting as a batsman in India’s Playing XI isn’t something selectors are looking at as a pure batsman at No 7 is not helpful for Team India.
  • His performance with the bat too isn’t good enough. In 2021, he has scored at an average of 24.00 in T20Is, 23.80 in ODIs, and in IPL that drops down to 13.57.

T20 World Cup: That is where selectors are concerned the most. Hardik is considered India’s 4th seam option in a T20 match and a bowler with the ability to break partnerships or chip away with wickets in a crucial game-changing situation with his variations. While batsman Hardik Pandya has done well for India, it is his bowling that was the ace for Virat Kohli was looking to use on slow wickets in the UAE.

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T20 World Cup: Selectors put BIG faith on Hardik Pandya despite poor show in IPL 2021, say ‘No backup ready to don the role in T20’

That way, India could also manage the workload of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami who have bowled over 140 overs in England and then in the IPL apart from Buvneshwar Kumar, who has struggled with the fitness of late.

“It’s not ideal. We would have liked for him to bowl in competitive matches. It’s unfortunate as he is a key player in the T20 World Cup. He is undergoing some fitness issues. But hopefully, he will be okay by the Pakistan match. It’s good that he is bowling in the nets. We will be monitoring the situation regarding him,” a senior BCCI official told InsideSport.co on Friday.