IND vs BAN: Hardik Pandya told to sit out, Axar Patel shown no mercy on the eve of T20 WC campaign

Published - 31 May 2024, 01:29 PM | Updated - 31 May 2024, 01:40 PM

Sunil Subramanian and Hardik Pandya
Sunil Subramanian and Hardik Pandya (Credits: Getty)

Former Tamil Nadu cricketer Sunil Subramanian feels that Indian vice-captain Hardik Pandya should not have been included in the squad for the T20 World Cup

Sunil Subramanian's comments have come on the subject of India playing at the T20 World Cup with 2 spinners in the playing XI. The former off-spinner had no words of support for Hardik Pandya, who went through a forgettable IPL 2024 campaign as a full-time Mumbai Indians captain. 

For the first time in 3 seasons as captain, Hardik Pandya was not able to lead his team towards a top 4 finish. During the 2022 and 2023 seasons, Pandya led the Gujarat Titans towards the IPL title and got very close to winning it again next year but finished as runners-up. 

Why Sunil Subramanian feels Hardik Pandya's exclusion will bring balance to the Indian side 

In a recent interview, Sunil Subramanian was asked to put forth his point of view about the 15-man squad composition of team India for the WC. Subramanian started off by questioning the mindset of the Ajit Agarkar-led chief selection committee for picking up an extra spin-bowling All-rounder, which is Axar Patel as the backup for Ravindra Jadeja. 

Sunil Subramanian feels that Rinku Singh deserved a spot in the 15-man squad in place of Axar Patel. The former cricketer then claimed that Vice-captain Hardik Pandya should not have been there on the roster as left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed could have given the team a better balance. 

Subramanian also claimed that only one of Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal will feature in the playing XI as the ground in NY is a Mickey Mouse outfield. 

"India may have picked one spin-bowling allrounder too many. Rinku Singh for Axar and Khaleel Ahmed for vice-captain Hardik would have balanced the side better. There is no way both wrist spinners will play, especially in Nassau County in New York. It is a Mickey Mouse ground with the straight boundary being 55 meters only." - Subramanian said. 

Subramanian explains when Kuldeep and Chahal can play together

Sunil Subramanian then explained the scenarios in which Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal can feature together in the playing XI. He feels that when India are in a do-or-die situation when Hardik Pandya isn't able to bowl 4 overs in full intensity or when the pace bowlers are getting hit. 

Subramanian then cautioned the team management to only make the leg-spinning duo when in West Indies as the conditions remain quite slow there. Another way in which the duo can play together is by dropping Yashasvi Jaiswal and letting Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli open. 

"Only if they are in a must-win situation. If Hardik is unable to bowl four overs and if one of the pacers gets hit, that may happen. But only in the West Indies leg of the tournament. The only other way to play both wrist spinners is by dropping Jaiswal and opening with Kohli and Rohit. They will not do that. They will err on the side of caution." - Sunil Subramanian concluded. 


Sunil Subramanian India National Cricket Team Hardik Pandya Khaleel Ahmed Kuldeep Yadav Yuzvendra Chahal Axar Patel ICC T20 World Cup