Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris is of the opinion that Hardik Pandya will have the edge over Shardul Thakur as India’s prime all-rounder in India’s ODI setup.
Shardul has played 19 ODI matches for India since making his debut against Sri Lanka in 2017. He showed his batting ability with scores of 50 and 40 in the South Africa ODI series early in January. The 30-year-old has picked 25 wickets in 19 games with the best figures of 4/52.
Shardul Thakur or Hardik Pandya in India’s ODI plans?
Shardul was part of India’s ODI squad in the recently concluded 2-1 series against England, however, India played Hardik and Ravindra Jadeja in the all-rounder role.
Hardik has grown leaps and bounds since returning from injury hiatus and has been consistent after inspiring Gujarat Titans to title triumph in the IPL 2022. Hardik finished the ODI series with six scalps in three games. He claimed the wickets of Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and Liam Livingstone to end with 4 for 24 from seven overs. His tight bowling helped India to bowl England out for 259 and eventually win the series.
The senior all-rounder hit 71 in 55 deliveries to provide the impetus in a chase of 260 runs. India went to win the game by five wickets on the back of Pant’s sublime hundred (125*).
Shardul Thakur isn’t as good as Hardik Pandya in terms of all-rounder role: Scott Styris
Hardik has been rested for the West Indies ODI series and that could mean Shardul could play all three matches. When Styris was asked about Shardul playing as an all-rounder for the Indian team in the 50-over format, the 47-year-old replied:
“That’s the one thing he has to his (Shardul’s) advantage is that he bats. The downside is the emergence of Hardik Pandya as a genuine all-rounder. Do you need two of those style of players because Shardul Thakur isn’t as good as Hardik Pandya, I don’t believe as an all-rounder,” Styris told Sports 18.
“So maybe he is fighting for a backup spot rather than one of the players to play as a frontline. We have seen him play many match-winning innings for India, usually in the longer versions of the game but he does have that ability to hit boundaries, closing out innings or putting the final touches, the cherry on the top if you like,” he added.
India plays the first ODI match against West Indies on Friday (July 22) at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain. All three ODI matches followed by the first T20I match will be played at the same venue.
Also Read: Hardik Pandya Will Become One Of The Best All-Rounders In The World – Shoaib Akhtar