All-rounder Hardik Pandya was included in India’s 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup squad last month by the BCCI’s senior selection committee headed by Chetan Sharma. However, the Baroda cricketer has so far only performed as a ‘pure batsman’. Hardik has not yet bowled for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021. Due to this, many former cricketers are also worried along with the fans. Hardik was expected to bowl in the second leg of IPL 2021 as well, but Mumbai Indians have not bowled to him in any of the six matches he played in the UAE leg. In this regard, the team management says that Hardik is not ready to bowl yet. He has not been given the responsibility of bowling because the management does not want to put extra workload on him.
However, when the BCCI selection committee selected Hardik in the T20 World Cup squad, he said that this all-rounder is ready to bowl four overs in every match for the team. But at the moment nothing like this seems to be happening. Meanwhile, former Team India opener Gautam Gambhir has targeted the selectors for the selection of Hardik in the T20 World Cup squad. Gambhir believes that he should not be part of the team in the playing XI.
Gambhir told ESPNcricinfo, ‘Hardik Pandya is a big problem in the batting of Mumbai Indians. He has not played any cricket. He is now a player of only one format for me. He plays only white ball cricket. He hasn’t done well this year. He has been included in the T20 World Cup squad, even though he has not bowled. This is a big surprise.’
Gambhir questioned the selectors on what basis Hardik has been selected in the Indian team. He said, ‘The selectors probably have to answer whether Hardik Pandya is actually going to bowl four overs in the T20 World Cup, is he in a position to do so? If he decides to bowl in the World Cup, he will have to start bowling now. Even if he bowls only one or two overs in every match, so that he can perform during the World Cup, where India are looking to win.