Hardik Pandya is regarded by Indian veteran and former head coach Ravi Shashtri as one of the tournament’s most important players.
“He (Pandya) is one of the most important cogs in the wheel as far as India is concerned,” Shastri said. “You take him out of the squad and the balance goes away. That’s how important he is. You don’t know whether to play an extra batsman or an extra bowler.”
When India competed in the T20 World Cup last year, Hardik was a member of the team, but he only played as a batsman, which threw off their strategy and prevented them from having a second bowling option.
“We missed him really badly last year in the (T20) World Cup when he couldn’t bowl. It makes a massive difference. There is no one close to him when it comes to the quality that he possesses at that number. I think he is an extremely important player and has to be watched very closely. With the number of matches coming up, he is the last person you want to play in all those matches,” Shastri added.