Hardik Pandya’s selection in the Indian team for the T20 World Cup has been the talk of the discussion at the moment. Pandya’s ability to hold the discipline with his bowling and power-hitting with his bat makes him the likeliest choice to feature in any playing XI of a cricket team.
And the same goes for the Indian team, the national selectors had kept him in the squad while citing that he will be bowling his full quota of overs in the mega event.
MS Dhoni backed Hardik Pandya to stay back in the Indian team: Reports
However, during the IPL 2021 in UAE, it was clearly visible that the all-rounder wasn’t fit to bowl as he didn’t bowl a single over for Mumbai Indians in the tournament.
Pandya’s batting numbers also did not justify his selection in the Indian team. The stylish player could manage just 127 runs from 12 matches at an average of 14.11.
Some media reports suggest that newly appointed mentor MS Dhoni (only for T20 World Cup) backed the all-rounder despite selectors wanting to send him back to India after the completion of IPL 2021.
“The truth is that the selectors wanted to send him back to India after he didn’t bowl in the IPL, but MS Dhoni (appointed Team India mentor) vouched for his finishing skills,” a source was quoted as saying by Times of India.
Someone has to be accountable for Hardik Pandya’s selection: Sandeep Patil
Former BCCI chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil said that the selectors should have asked Hardik Pandya to clear a fitness test before the mega event.
Patil also pointed that head coach Ravi Shastri and limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma had declared Pandya fit to play.
“His selection in the XI is up to the captain and the coach, and only the BCCI will know about it. But basically, if a player is not fit, then it comes to the selectors. If he didn’t bowl in the entire IPL, the selectors should have taken a call. They should have asked for a fitness test before including him in the team for the World Cup,” Patil was quoted as saying by Times of India.
“As per ICC rules, he could have been replaced if he was unfit. My question regarding Hardik is not only to the captain and the coach, but to the selectors. The fitness aspect is handled by the selectors and the team physio. From my experience as a selector, the BCCI secretary hands over a list of players who are fit and available.
“Someone has to be accountable. There’s no comment from (India coach) Ravi Shastri, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane said that he’s fit. How can you say he’s fit, if he became unfit during the match? I mean, this is the World Cup, not just any series or match,” he added.
Pandya scored 11 off eight balls against Pakistan in India’s first match but did not bowl a single over as India lost by 10 wickets.