Monty Panesar, the former English spinner, has weighed in on Hardik Pandya’s chances of playing for team India in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 later this year in October-November. Leaving aside the couple of ODIs against Australia last year, Hardik Pandya has struggled to find his rhythm since the 2019 World Cup.
After suffering an injury in the lower back in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, Hardik Pandya had to refrain from international cricket for a period of 4-5 months. His back injury was followed by a shoulder injury which has caused a massive downfall in Pandya’s power-hitting ability and his bowling ability in the last couple of years.
Monty Panesar Opens Up On Hardik Pandya’s Chances Of Playing In The T2O World Cup 2021
Although the Indian Cricket Team hasn’t played a lot of limited-overs cricket in the last couple of years due to COVID restrictions, Hardik’s performance for Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Indian Premier League has seen a massive downfall. In IPL 2020 and in IPL 2021, Hardik hasn’t been able to bowl his quota of 4 overs in multiple fixtures.
Rating Hardik’s chances of playing in the T20 World Cup this year, former English spinner, Monty Panesar, in an exclusive chat with Cricketaddictor said, “Hardik Pandya can play as a specialist batsman. If you can get even 2 overs out of him with him batting at number 5 or 6, that could be an option for them.”
“I think ideally team India is a stronger team when Hardik can actually bowl his four overs. It may be a slight concern for Virat Kohli and with any players when they are injured, the Indian team starts looking away. That would be more of a sensible decision from Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri as you don’t want to be underprepared when Hardik can’t bowl his four overs,” Monty further added.
Fast Bowling All Rounders Knocking On The Door Of The Selection Committee
Another matter of concern for the young Pandya will be the number of fast bowling allrounders available at team India’s disposal currently. Shardul Thakur has done exceptionally well for Chennai Super Kings and team India when given the opportunity. Similar has been the case with Deepak Chahar. Harshal Patel was at his fiery best in IPL 2021 and Rishi Dhawan had a memorable spell in the Indian domestic circuit.
With an average of 13, 39, and 24 in the last three years in the international circuit, Hardik Pandya is losing out his position in the Indian team. It will be a massive headache for the Indian team management to give him a green signal for the T20 World Cup if his poor show continues when IPL 2021 resumes in September.