A Team India source has revealed that all-rounder Hardik Pandya is not 100% fit when it comes to his bowling and the team will look at him as a finisher for the upcoming T20 World Cup. Pandya had bowled in the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka but was not seen at his best.
Subsequently, he was picked in the T20 World Cup squad and many experts thought that he will bowl in the marquee event. But Pandya didn’t bowl a single over for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021, which has raised doubts about his bowling fitness. In fact, Rohit Sharma was confident that Pandya should be fit to bowl in the T20I showpiece.
Meanwhile, as there are concerns regarding Pandya’s bowling, Shardul Thakur replaced Axar Patel in the T20 World Cup squad on Wednesday.
A team source said while talking to ANI, “He’s not a 100 percent when it comes to his bowling, so it will be a finisher’s role for Hardik in this World Cup. We will keep assessing him as we progress, but at present, the team will look at him as a batsman who comes in and looks to play the finisher’s role just like MS Dhoni did over the years.”
In fact, Pandya wasn’t in the best of forms with the bat in the IPL 2021 for Mumbai Indians. The right-hander could only muster 127 runs in 11 innings at an average of 14.11 and a strike rate of 113.39.
Thus, the Indian team management will hope that Pandya will be able to turn the tables in the upcoming T20I World Cup. Pandya is expected to play a key role in India’s success and he can add the finishing touches for the team.
India’s T20I World Cup squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami.
Stand-by Players – Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel.