Former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has raised concerns over the form of all-rounder Hardik Pandya, particularly his bowling performance, ahead of the ODI World Cup 2023. Pandya’s recent performances during India’s limited-overs series against the West Indies have raised alarm bells about his readiness for the upcoming tournament in October-November.
During the ODI series, Pandya managed only one half-century alongside two single-digit scores, and his bowling contributed just one wicket. In the T20Is, he scored 77 runs in four innings and claimed four wickets. Manjrekar pointed out the importance of Pandya’s role as an all-rounder, especially in the bowling department, for India’s success in the ODI World Cup.Manjrekar drew parallels with India’s 2011 World Cup victory, attributing it to the all-round contributions of Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh. He stressed that Pandya’s ability to excel both as a batter and a bowler is crucial for India’s chances in ICC events, echoing the pivotal roles played by Raina and Yuvraj in the past.
Speaking on the show “Follow the Blues” on Star Sports, Manjrekar expressed his concerns, stating, “Hardik Pandya’s form is a little bit of concern, his bowling because you will have to do a lot of physical work in the World Cup because you need him as the all-rounder not just a batter so at least 6-7 over per innings is what is expected from him.
“As India prepares for the Asia Cup, set to begin on August 30, all eyes will be on Pandya’s performance, hoping he regains his momentum and confidence. With the ODI World Cup looming, Manjrekar’s observations highlight the significance of Pandya’s contributions as a key player in India’s quest to end their ICC event drought.
India’s Group A fixtures in the Asia Cup will see them face arch-rivals Pakistan and debutants Nepal, providing a platform for Pandya to regain his form and demonstrate his prowess as an all-rounder. His performance in the Asia Cup will not only impact India’s campaign but also determine his readiness for the highly anticipated ODI World Cup in the coming months.