Hardik Pandya, India’s all-rounder, is dealing with fitness issues. He was selected in the ICC T20 World Cup squad despite fitness concerns, with several experts questioning his presence in the team.
Ishan Kishan has been suggested as a replacement for the all-rounder. However, former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra believes that picking Ishan over Hardik will not make any sense and it will disrupt the batting order as well.
Since the home series against England, Hardik hasn’t bowled in the shortest format of the game. He didn’t roll his arm over in the IPL, the two warm-up games and a T20 World Cup match against Pakistan.
He is playing as a pure batter these days, which has impacted India. Aakash believes Hardik will retain his spot in the Playing XI for the game against the Kiwis on October 31.
“This narrative is bound to continue. When you look at Hardik Pandya and see he is not bowling you are bound to feel whether he actually fits into the team. The question isn’t wrong. In 2021 he hasn’t scored many runs and also missed a few games as well. But I will consider his performance against Pakistan. How can you judge a class player like Hardik based on just eight balls? But it’s a fact that he hasn’t made an impact with the bat this year. And when he is not bowling, India completely go out of balance because you only have five bowling options then. But Ishan in place of Hardik? No. Because if he does replace Hardik, he will have to open for India alongside Rohit. Then Rahul at No.4, Pant at No.5 and Suryakumar at No.6? Does it really make sense? If one defeat leads to such a big change then it only shows that we do not believe our selection process. Ishan’s inclusion will completely change India’s selection philosophy. India can although, make changes in their bowling attack. I feel India should continue with Hardik for the New Zealand game and Ishan will have to wait for his opportunity,” he said on his YouTube channel.