Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya was dropped from the squad for the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand. His place in the side was always under the scanner, especially when he failed to deliver a few overs with the ball in hand.
The selectors have finally had enough of the Baroda player and have decided to groom other bright prospects with a view on the future. According to a report in TOI, the management reckons that Hardik isn’t worthy enough to warrant a place in the side purely based on his batting.
Another thing that India lacks is a batsman who can bowl handy overs here and there in white-ball cricket. In the recently concluded IPL 2021 season, Venkatesh Iyer became the talk of the town as he is seen as capable of being explosive with the bat but also contributing with the ball.
He is seen as the potential replacement for Hardik and can also bring variety to the batting lineup which is filled with right-handers. This is reportedly why Iyer was given the green light ahead of pure batsmen like Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill.
Notably, Iyer can also function as a finisher considering he may not get a chance to open the innings with the likes of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in the team. If he succeeds when his opportunity comes, the selectors might well and truly move on from Hardik Pandya.
Hardik Pandya out of India’s T20I squad against New Zealand:
Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (vc), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj.