Aakash Chopra, former India cricketer believes that Hardik Pandya despite so much controversy over his selection will be able to retain his spot in the upcoming T20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan. In his YouTube channel, Chopra discussed in detail about the same.
India’s all-rounder Hardik Pandya has not bowled in a T2- game since the home series in England. His fitness has been a concern for long. After the first match defeat in the T20 World Cup 2021 against Pakistan, a lot started questioning Pandya’s inclusion to the playing eleven. Some also spoke about Ishan Kishan as the probable replacement for Pandya. Aakash Chopra however feels that Pandya will be retained in the next match as well.
“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.” Chopra continued to explain, “And when he is not bowling, India completely go out of balance because you only have five bowling options then.”
Former India opener further said no to the suggestion of Ishan Kishan replacing Pandya. He opined, “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?”
He added, “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.”