Former India cricketer turned veteran commentator Gautam Gambhir has said that all-rounder Hardik Pandya can only be a part of Team India’s playing XI in the upcoming marquee event – T20 World Cup if he started doing well with the ball.
Notably, Hardik Pandya was earlier included in India’s 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup. However, uncertainties about his fitness, made the Indian selectors bring some changes and they added Shardul Thakur in place of Axar Patel to strengthen their pace-bowling attack a swell. And, Gambhir has said that Hardik Pandya needs to prove his fitness in the two warmup games to be in Team India’s playing XI.
He said while previewing the upcoming T20 World Cup during a discussion on the Star Sports show – Game Plan: “For me, Hardik Pandya gets into India’s playing XI only if he does proper bowling in both warmup games, not only in the nets. There is a huge difference between bowling in the nets and against quality batsmen like Babar Azam and that too in the World Cup.”
He further added: “He has to bowl in the practice matches and the nets, and he has to bowl 100 percent. If you are thinking that you will come and bowl just at 115-120 kph, I will not take that risk.”
However, Hardik Pandya has been suffering from several injuries and he did not bowl a single ball for the Mumbai Indians (MI) during the IPL 2021 as well.
“If I have to go with just five bowlers, then I will pick Ishan Kishan ahead of Hardik Pandya on current form. If you are going with five proper bowlers and six batsmen, Hardik’s form is probably a massive concern. Forget about the bowling, with the bat as well,” Gautam Gambhir concluded.
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