Former South African fast bowler Dale Steyn has reckoned that the all-rounder Hardik Pandya is a game changer even without his bowling and noted that he should be in the playing XI. Hardik Pandya hasn’t bowled in any format for a long time now and he was played as a pure batsman in the IPL 2021 by the Mumbai Indians.
The back injury concerns have been a major problem to his bowling plans and at the moment, the management isn’t looking to risk him ahead of the big tournament. Hardik Pandya has been filling a big role in India’s playing XI as the number six finisher and the medium-pacer who can pick up wickets regularly. The team combination will certainly be affected if he isn’t going to bowl.
“He Is A Gamechanger Whether He’s Got Bat Or Ball In His Hand” – Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn mentioned that Hardik Pandya will remain a game-changer in any of the three departments and noted that he can be very most effective with the bat. He added that he would have Hardik in his playing XI purely based on his batting skills. Hardik’s recent form with the bat isn’t that convincing too and he has struggled for runs.
“Look, he’s a game-changer. That’s the big thing. He is a gamechanger whether he’s got bat or ball in his hand, specifically with that bat actually. He hasn’t bowled a lot lately, at all to be honest. I would pick him purely on his batting alone,”
“After the current form that he has had, it’s a bit touch and go but he is a fantastic player.” Dale Steyn told
Dale Steyn Feels Teams Will Be Aware Of Hardik Pandya’s Game-Changing Ability
Dale Steyn reckoned that the teams will be up for the challenge against Hardik Pandya knowing his ability. Hardik Pandya remained unbeaten on 12 in the warm-up fixture against England but did not look convincing.
“And teams will know that. So, when he comes out to bat, teams will have to prepare accordingly because Hardik Pandya can take the game away from you quite easily with the bat,” he added
It will be interesting to see if India sticks on to Hardik Pandya for the first game against Pakistan on October 24.