Virat Kohli’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma has slammed Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya for his recent “I was selected in the ICC Men’s T20 World T20 World Cup squad as a batter” statement.
India had an extremely poor run in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 as they lost two consecutive games at the start of the tournament and were eventually knocked out of the semi-finals race. Also, Hardik Pandya, who was struggling with his fitness problems during the tournament, faced heavy criticism for his inability to bowl regularly.
He recently opened up on his World Cup selection and said that he was picked as a pure batter in the team and he did bowl in a few games where he wasn’t supposed to. Speaking on Backstage with Boria, Hardik had said:
“The position we were in at the World Cup, I felt everything was thrown at me. I was selected in the squad as a batter. I worked hard to bowl in the 1st game, but I couldn’t. I did bowl in the 2nd one even when I wasn’t supposed to.”
Meanwhile, Rajkumar Sharma, while talking about Hardik’s statement on YouTube channel Khelneeti, said it was an immature statement by Pandya and he should be thankful for getting picked for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 despite fitness concerns.
“The selectors and team management favoured Hardik Pandya in the T20 World Cup 2021. Him coming out and saying what he said is not a mature statement. You should be thankful that they picked you were picked by the team management for the T20 World Cup, despite fitness concerns.”
Selectors should have clarified that they have picked Hardik Pandya as just a batter – Nikhil Chopra
Speaking in the same video, former India spinner Nikhil Chopra said that the BCCI selectors should have clarified that Hardik has been picked only as a batter in the World Cup squad. He said:
“The selectors in their press conference should have clarified that they have picked Hardik Pandya as just a batter and will only bowl when his body allows. There is no point in making such statements now on Pandya’s part. The captain would have surely asked him before bowling him.”
He added that the all-rounder might have thought he was being targeted for India’s poor performance in the World Cup. He explained:
“Hardik Pandya might have thought that he was targeted for India’s poor showing at the T20 World Cup. Several times a player does come under the scanner when the team underperforms. It could have happened with Pandya this time around.”
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