Ravi Shastri claims that Team India must avoid playing Hardik Pandya in One-Day Internationals until the T20 World Cup later this year.
Focusing on his outstanding performances in the IPL 2022, Hardik has made a return to the Indian team for the upcoming T20I series against South Africa. He shines brightly with batting and bowling for the Gujarat Titans (GT) and therefore will hope to do so again for Team India. Gujarat won the IPL for the first time thanks to the all-rounder.
Ravi Shastri was questioned if Hardik could play in a full-strength India squad right now during a conversation on the Star Sports show Game Plan. He answered:
“He’ll be back in the starting lineup for me, as either a batter or as an all-rounder. I don’t believe he’s injured to the point where he can’t bowl you two overs.
“He has had and will proceed to have sufficient sleep because it’s the only format in which he should compete in the World Cup. They must not risk forcing him to play ODI cricket.”
Ravi Shastri on Hardik Pandya’s ability to play as an all-rounder:
Ravi Shastri was also questioned about how important a three-dimensional Hardik was for Team India.
He responded: “He’s massive and does the work of two players.” Hardik Pandya as a batter would have to bat in the top four or five, but as an all-rounder, he can bat at five, six, or four and still bowl some of these two-three overs for you.”
Ravi Shastri concluded by saying that Hardik can bat at No. 4 for Team India if necessary.
He expanded: “I believe he could be in the top four because when a top player suffers an injury, he can fill the void. He does have the knowledge, skill, and mental space to control a game in that role. As a result, I believe he has emerged as a key player.”
India will face South Africa in a five-match T20I series beginning on Thursday (June 9).