Hardik Pandya To Be Dropped From India’s T20 World Cup Squad; Shardul Thakur Or Shreyas Iyer To Come In As Replacements – Reports. Mumbai Indians (MI) all-rounder Hardik Pandya is having serious issues with his fitness of late. He was included in MI’s line-up against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) purely as a batsman and that has once again brought up his inclusion in India’s squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Reports are now stating that there’s a possibility of Hardik being replaced by a couple of other options. It has long been stated by many experts that the Baroda cricketer should not make a side purely based on his batting.
Hardik Pandya’s Woes Continue
MI bowling coach Shane Bond mentioned that Hardik needed some time to get back into full match fitness and so was kept out of their team for the first two matches in the UAE. Against RCB, it was confirmed that his bowling services will not be required.
“We’re obviously balancing the needs of our team and the needs of team India as well. It’s the one thing that this franchise does really well… is look after its players with an eye not only to win this competition but an eye to the World Cup that’s coming up as well,” Bond had stated.
His role in the team is that of a finisher or an enforcer in the death overs along with giving his captain, four crucial overs with the ball. If he isn’t fit enough to bowl even in a T20 match with a lesser workload, then his spot in the side will be reconsidered.
Ever since his back surgery, Hardik has been given the freedom to choose which matches he bowls in. The underlying reason is usually that his workload needs to be managed. However, he is unfit to make the playing XI most of the time and it has also affected his performance. Hardik’s inclusion in the team provides a great balance to Team India. They don’t have a seam-bowling all-rounder who can be as destructive as the 27-year-old.
Teams have the provision of changing their T20 World Cup squads up until October 10. So if Hardik is incapable of providing four overs for the skipper, the management is likely to bring in Shardul Thakur or Shreyas Iyer, as per reports. Both of them are included in India’s reserves and might get a bump up depending on how Hardik progresses in the remainder of the IPL 2021.
India’s T20 World Cup squad
Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohd Shami.
Reserves: Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar.