Mitchell McClenaghan
Mitchell McClenaghan. Credits: Twitter

In 2018, at the previous mega-auction year, Hardik Pandya was retained for Rs. 11 crore then by the Mumbai Indians. He was the premier seam-bowling all-rounder and was making his rise in international cricket.

Now, despite being an established and proven cricketer, there are doubts about his retention as the deadline of November 30th for the final list to be announced for the upcoming mega-auction nears.

These doubts have emerged considering his lack of bowling fitness – Hardik Pandya hasn’t bowled in the last two IPL seasons – and his form with the bat has dipped too.

Skipper Rohit Sharma, spearhead pacer Jasprit Bumrah are set to be retained, with a high possibility of Kieron Pollard to continue as the overseas retention. However, the 5-time champions are brainstorming over their fourth retention, should they opt for it.

The form and ascend of Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan – both of them crucial in their last two title wins – have given the MI management a tough choice and are pitted against Hardik Pandya.

Former Mumbai Indians pacer Mitchell McClenaghan, though, is clear that Hardik Pandya should be retained ahead of Suryakumar and Kishan.

In a Twitter question asked by ESPNcricinfo, McClenaghan explained that the Gujarat cricketer remains the leading seam-bowling all-rounder in India. There is a dearth of such set skills in India, which Hardik Pandya brings to the table.

“Clearly Hardik. It’s not even a question – there is a severe lack of Indian all rounders and finishers. No one on that level as of yet,” McClenaghan tweeted.

Hardik Pandya, Mumbai Indians (MI), IPL 2021
Hardik Pandya. Image Credits: Twitter

Hardik Pandya asked selectors not to consider him for the South Africa tour: Reports

Hardik Pandya was not included in the squad which hosted New Zealand in a 3-T20I series after the T20 World Cup.

According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, the right-hander has “told the Indian selectors not to consider him for selection for a while so that he can work on his overall fitness, including returning to full-time bowling”. This means that he is likely to not be on the plane for South Africa next month.

Hardik Pandya bowled just 4 overs during the T20 World Cup without any success. Venkatesh Iyer, who made his debut recently against New Zealand, is in contention to tour South Africa for white-ball matches.

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