Former India opener Aakash Chopra was skeptical about the absence of all-rounder Hardik Pandya from India’s T20I squad for the upcoming New Zealand series which will commence from 17 November.
On Tuesday, BCCI announced India’s squad for the New Zealand series and several new names like Harshal Patel, Venkatesh Iyer and Avesh Khan were added to the squad.
Also, some big players like Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja were provided with the much-needed rest by the BCCI as they were in bio-bubble for a very long time.
I’ve Some Doubts Over Hardik Pandya’s Absence – Aakash Chopra
Speaking on his YouTube channel Aakash Chopra said that resting Kohli, Shami, Bumrah and Jadeja was a good decision but he was doubtful over the absence of Hardik from the team. He said:
“Kohli has been rested, which was due. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami’s rest was also deserved. Ravindra Jadeja has also played in England (Test series), then the IPL, and the T20 World Cup, so it was a good call to rest him. But I’ve some doubts over Hardik Pandya’s absence. Has he been rested? Did he need rest?”
Chopra highlighted that Hardik was not part of the India tour of England, didn’t bowl in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 and bowled very few overs in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. He asserted:
“He didn’t feature in the Test series against England and played 7 matches in the IPL where he didn’t bowl as well. In the World Cup, he bowled a limited number of overs and batted in three games. So, is he really been rested or is there a message that’s been conveyed?”
After the squad was announced a BCCI official claimed that Hardik was not dropped from the team instead he has been given the time to recover from his lower-back injury.
“Hardik Pandya has not yet recovered from his lower back injury. However, if the former T20 captain (Kohli in this case) was bent on having him at No 6 as a specialist batter, Chetan (chief national selector Chetan Sharma) and his team had to relent,” a senior BCCI official, privy to selection developments, told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
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