File photo of Hardik Pandya.© AFP
Everything was going hunky-dory for the Indian bowling unit as long as Hardik Pandya was delivering with the ball alongside his batting post his return from injury, but the medium pacer’s performance against Pakistan in the Super 4 stage last week has probably once again given rise to a few old questions – Can Hardik be trusted to be one of the frontline seamers and bowl his full quota of four overs in every game possible or should he be looked at as a stop-gap arrangement?
Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar feels that Hardik should be roped in into the squad as a fourth medium pacer but not as the third. Hardik leaked 44 runs in his four overs with only one wicket in the Super 4 match against Pakistan and Manjrekar feels that keeping the all-rounder as the 4th medium pacer in the squad would help him bowl less than his quota of four overs in case he fails to deliver.
“I think there were important lessons that came through last night and you could see Rohit Sharma on the field was pretty animated. I think they’ve made some important notes. One thing that came through for me and I’m sure for the team management as well is that if you at some point of time want to play just three medium pacers, Hardik Pandya cannot be one of the three,” said Manjrekar on Sports18’s daily sports news show ‘Sports Over The Top’.
“Hardik is great when he knows that he is the 4th seamer, and he can afford to have an off day and somebody else will come and take over like (Ravindra) Jadeja could bowl a couple of overs and Hardik Pandya if he’s not bowling well, not getting wickets could be happy with two,” he added.
Rohit Sharma-led India face Sri Lanka on Tuesday in their second game of the Super 4 stage in the ongoing Asia Cup. The match takes place at the Dubai International Stadium, starting at 7:30 PM.
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