Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra feels that Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya needs to start bowling regularly to give the Indian team much-needed balance as he will give the side a lot of options and depth going into the T20 World Cup.
Hardik Pandya has not been bowling due to a back injury for which he also underwent surgery in 2020. He didn’t bowl at all in the seven encounters the Mumbai Indians played in IPL 2021 before the tournament was suspended.
“He will have to start bowling now. He bowled a few overs in Australia, then you played against England and in the IPL. You didn’t bowl for your team in the IPL as well. It’s been a very patchy kind of ride.” said Aakash.
Chopra further said that the presence of Hardik Pandya as a seam-bowling all-rounder lends much-required balance to the Indian team.
“You were looking at him for Test cricket but he is not available for you there as well because he is not bowling. When you look at it from that vantage point, there is only one player like Hardik Pandya, he provides balance. Hardik Pandya as a fast-bowling all-rounder, Ravindra Jadeja as a spinning all-rounder and Washington Sundar with them, it becomes a superb team.”
Aakash also wants to see Hardik bowl at least six-eight overs in one-dayers and his full quota in T20s.
“There are six encounters here, even if he doesn’t bowl ten overs in the ODIs, but six to eight and bowls his full quota in T20s, full overs in the IPL, and then definitely in the World Cup because Hardik Pandya bowling makes it easier for India to get the right balance,” he added.
My Full Focus Is The T20 World Cup: Hardik Pandya
In a recent interaction with Times Of India Sportscast recently, Hardik Pandya opened up on his bowling plans for upcoming T20 World Cup.
“For me, I want to make sure, and I will be able to, that I bowl in all the games of the (T20) World Cup. I am just trying to be smart and make sure that I don’t miss that. My full focus is on the World Cup.”