Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra has reckoned that star all-rounder Hardik Pandya would be crucial in India’s run in the 2023 ODI World Cup. Talking ahead of India’s opening match against Australia, Chopra said that there is no other batting all-rounder in the team at the moment and Pandya is the only one who bowls in the top six and can bat in difficult scenarios as well.
“I am a bit worried that India is too dependent on Hardik Pandya. There is no other player like him in the squad – nobody bowls in the top 6. Ravindra Jadeja can play at No. 7, but his batting form hasn’t been great lately,” Aakash Chopra said on a daily sports show hosted by JioCinema.
He further explained, “Also, Pandya is the only batting all-rounder in the team and Shardul Thakur isn’t – he can’t bat at No. 6. Hence, I believe that Hardik Pandya is critical to team India’s success in the World Cup.”
Aakash Chopra also expressed concern about the fact that Pandya did not play the last three ODIs against Australia and the warm-up games were also washed out.
“Another reason why I am worried about this is the fact that he did not play the last three ODIs against Australia and the warm-up matches did not happen. He has not played a lot of cricket – he played in the Asia Cup final and took a couple of wickets but could not bat and the last two fixtures against Pakistan were not too significant in terms of his performance. So, there might be a chance he might not be at his best in his first game in Chennai,” Aakash Chopra added.
India will need Pandya to be at his best if they are to go far in the World Cup. He is a key player in the team’s batting and bowling lineup, and his all-round ability can make a big difference in matches.