All eyes are on whether Hardik Pandya will start bowling by the time India play Pakistan
Hardik Pandya’s place in the Indian squad for the ICC T20 World Cup has been under scrutiny for a while as many people have been questioning his inclusion just as a specialist batter as the all-rounder has not been bowling at all. Pandya bowled a bit during India’s tour of Sri Lanka but he spent the entire UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) as a specialist lower middle-order batter for Mumbai Indians. Many former India cricketers, part of the commentary panel on host broadcaster Star Sports have spoken in favour of Pandya being included in India’s playing XI for the big clash against Pakistan as they think he could be the finisher India needs in the death overs.
But question marks remain about his bowling. On Wednesday, Rohit Sharma came out for the toss ahead of India’s warm-up match against Australia and gave a big update about when Pandya could start bowling.
“We want to make sure that we get the 6th bowling option, some options in the batting order as well, we’ll try all those things today. Hardik is coming along pretty well, but it’ll be a while before he will start to bowl. He hasn’t started bowling, but he should be ready by the start of the tournament,” Rohit said at the toss.
Rohit made it clear that it is crucial for India to find the right balance in their team so that they have depth in batting and also a sixth bowling option.
“We have quality in the main bowlers, but you need an option for a 6th bowler,” Rohit added.
Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been rested for this warm-up clash after featuring in the win over England on Monday.
India had comfortably chased down the target of 189 runs against England with openers KL Rahul (51) and Ishan Kishan (70) playing a big role in the chase. Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya took India home in the match.
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