Ever since he returned from his back surgery, Hardik Pandya has bowled sporadically.
He bowled a few overs during the limited-overs series against England earlier this year but did not roll his arm over in the 14th season of the IPL.
Pandya has thus far bowled a total of 9 overs across the two ODIs against India and he has looked totally out of rhythm.
The Baroda cricketer has conceded 54 runs across two matches and has claimed one wicket.
Speaking on his Youtube channel, Aakash Chopra reckoned that it’s tough to gauge whether Hardik Pandya is struggling because of his back issues or due to lack of game time.
“It doesn’t seem like (Whether Hardik Pandya is bowling fit.). Is it the form or fitness its tough to say for us from here. He hasn’t bowled for a long time. He bowled 2-4 overs against England (earlier in the year). He hasn’t bowled since, then. Didn’t bowl in the IPL either. He has almost made himself unavailable from Test cricket.” said Aakash Chopra.
“It’s tough to judge him like this but he doesn’t look in form that’s for sure. He is not in rhythm, he’s bowling no-balls and it happens when you don’t have that bowling -related game time. Whether he is fit or not, only he can answer on how his body is responding. As a bowler, Hardik Pandya is not in form,” he added.
‘India should stick with the same XI for the final ODI’- Aakash Chopra
India have already pocketed the ODI series in the second game thanks to a brilliant unbeaten partnership between Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar
So, should the Rahul Dravid-led think-tank rest some of the players and give chances to the uncapped cricketers?
Aakash Chopra doesn’t think so. According to the former opener, Team India should stick with the same group of players for the third ODI as he believes that even if the fringe players get an opportunity, they’ll eventually be dropped when the T20I series kick starts, which would be unfair on them.
“Kuldeep, Chahal, Bhuvneshwar, Deepak all have done well. Why will you want to tinker with the setup? I understand people might want to see Chetan Sakariya, Navdeep Saini, Nitish Rana. We have 6 uncapped players. I think it won’t be fair to them as well. As soon as we play them in the final game (of the ODI series). Then again they will not get their chances as the T20 series will begin. It’s better to carry on with the continuity which the Indian team unless there is an injury concern.” said Aakash Chopra.