Explained: How Hardik Pandya’s Call Will Decide India’s Fate In This T20 World Cup

Explained: How Hardik Pandya’s Call Will Decide India’s Fate In This T20 World Cup

Took a total defeat against Pakistan so that the debate over Hardik Pandya’s place in the XI begins to rage again. He barely bowls these days and while he can be a great hitter on the ball, one of the most valuable skills in T20 cricket, whether that alone deserves a spot on the team is the million dollar question. Some sectors feel that he shouldn’t have been on the team in the first place.

Hardik has been deemed fit after get hit on the shoulder in the previous match, but it remains to be seen whether he will be retained for the must-win match against New Zealand. And in case India doesn’t make the right decision, Pandya’s dilemma may hurt them in Sunday’s virtual quarterfinals against New Zealand.

Why is it such an important selection issue?

Someone who hits in the top six and throws a few overs balances a playing XI. Hardik was touted as the end of India’s search for a sewing bowling all-rounder. He was, and still can be, destructive with the bat that possesses a six-hit capacity comparable to any in world cricket. When bowling regularly, Hardik used to be energetic and helpful, providing an additional option, especially in favorable conditions for closers. Without him bowling, the captain often has no options if one of the front-line operators is taken to the cleaners. If Hardik is a regular bowling option, there is the possibility of including an additional batsman or bowler depending on requirements and tactics.

Why don’t you go bowling?

A long overdue problem has hampered his ability to bowl. Hardik underwent surgery in 2019 to alleviate the problem, but his periods on the ball remain rare, for both India and the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. He bowled during India’s limited tour of Sri Lanka in July, but was not seen with the ball at the 2021 IPL, neither in India nor in the United Arab Emirates.

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Hardik Pandya during the 2021 ICC T20 Men’s World Cup (Reuters photo: Hamad I Mohammed)

However, why was Hardik chosen?

Due to his destructive hitting ability. In cue ball cricket, Hardik has the power to change the look of any game when it comes to balls. Its unique method of minimal movement, a still head, penetrating deep into the crease, and opening the hips provides great bat speed that can be targeted by both fast and spinning bowlers, front and rear foot. He has won several matches for both India and Mumbai Indians with the bat alone, although he hasn’t done it too often lately.

What have the selectors done to cover up Hardik’s lack of bowling?

Shardul Thakur was included in the T20 World Cup team to provide an additional sewing bowling option. He has been quite impressive with the bat for India, especially in the test matches, and is a golden arm on the ball, pulling off two-way moves at a decent pace. He has an aggressive and fearless approach, but has a limited sample size in international cricket, even if it could be an improvement on Hardik on the ball.

Left arm spinner Axar Patel was initially chosen from the squad, but had to make way for Thakur once it emerged that Hardik might not be able to bowl. Some former selectors have even opined that Hardik should have stayed out if he couldn’t bowl.

What is the opinion of the team’s management?

Hardik played as a specialized hitter against Pakistan in India’s opening game. Captain Virat Kohli was of the opinion that what Hardik provided with the bat was valuable enough to be scored in the XI of the game, even if he did not bowl. He said there was hope that Hardik would do it at some point later in the tournament.

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“We firmly believe that we can make the most of the opportunity we have at hand until the moment when I start bowling. We have considered a couple of other options to contribute one or two. So that doesn’t worry us at all. What he brings to the No. 6 spot is something that cannot be created overnight, ”Kohli had said on the eve of the Pakistan match.

“We understand the value he brings to the team as a No. 6 hitter, and in world cricket, if you look around you, there are specialists who do that job. It’s very important to have that guy, especially in T20 cricket, who can play impact innings at that stage. Even when things are down, he’s someone who can play long innings that way. So for us, that’s a lot more valuable than forcing him to do something he’s not ready for right now. “

Has the scene changed since then?

After the loss to Pakistan, India has little room for maneuver in their next game against New Zealand on Sunday, when a loss may even spell the ruin of their tournament aspirations.

Not having a genuine sixth bowling option tied Kohli’s hands when Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan took the game away from them. Therefore, the composition of the team will be vigorously debated before the clash with the Kiwis. There is a school of thought that Thakur could be a better comprehensive option than Hardik and provide Kohli with cover if things don’t go exactly as planned.

How do the other top teams compose their XIs?

Most of the teams that are successful in the current T20 World Cup have someone who can contribute with both the bat and the ball. Australia has Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell, England has Moeen Ali while Pakistan has Mohammad Hafeez. In addition to skilled batsmen and bowlers, they can provide the vital link that can often make a difference.

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