As we edge closer to the end of the IPL 2021, people are turning their eyes towards the upcoming T20 World Cup which starts from the 17th of October in UAE & Oman. Earlier India announced its 15 players’ squad, which surprised the whole cricket fraternity in India. The inclusion of Rahul Chahar over Yuzi Chahal perplexed everyone. However, the dust seems to have settled over the matter as new ones emerge after IPL’s league stage came to an end.
One of the biggest questions on everyone’s lips is, will Hardik Pandya play in the team as a proper batter or a batting allrounder, for which he has been originally picked in the squad. Ever since Pandya has recovered from the back injury he suffered in 2019, he has been unable to bowl a full spell of his quota. After his batting performance took a dip in the recent series, many pundits are questioning Pandya’s place in the team altogether.
Aakash Chopra, former Indian opener and one of the most vocal pundits of Indian Cricket, also questioned the same in a video he uploaded recently on YouTube. In that video, he said, “When Hardik was picked… selectors assumed he would be bowling. That’s why they named only three fast bowlers in the squad… but Rohit Sharma recently confirmed that he (Pandya) hasn’t bowled a single ball yet.”
Remaining skeptical about the position of a proper pace bowling allrounder who can deceive with the ball and hammer with the bat, Chopra has suggested a replacement for Pandya. According to him, Shardul Thakur is someone who can be a like for like replacement.
The whole country witnessed Shardul’s batting prowess in the Oval where he hit 2 half-centuries. He also has a knack for coming on to bowl on the odd occasions and deliver for his team with crucial wickets. Therefore, Aakash Chopra thinks that CSK pacer Thakur can be the right choice for the team, in case Pandya is ruled unfit for bowling.
India begins its world cup campaign on 24th October against Pakistan.