According to the latest reports, the flamboyant Indian all-rounder, Hardik Pandya was dropped from the squad for the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand. His place in the team has been scrutinized, especially when he failed to deliver a few overs with the ball in hand. The selectors seem to have had enough of the Baroda player and have decided to groom other bright prospects with a view on the future.
According to a report in TOI, the Indian team management reckons that Hardik isn’t worthy enough to warrant a place in the side purely based on his batting. Another thing that India lacks is a batsman who can bowl handy overs in the middle, especially in white-ball cricket.
In the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season, Venkatesh Iyer became the talk of the town as he is seen as capable of being explosive with the bat and he was also seen performing well with the ball as well.
Venkatesh Iyer has emerged as the potential replacement for Hardik Pandya and can also bring variety to the batting lineup which is filled with right-handers. The flexibility of Venkatesh Iyer seems to have been a crucial reason behind him getting a green light ahead of pure batsmen like Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill.
Notably, Iyer can also function as a finisher considering he may not get a chance to open the innings with the likes of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Ruturaj Gaekwad in the team. If he succeeds when his opportunity comes, the selectors might well and truly move on from Hardik Pandya.
Hardik Pandya has not been included inIndia’s T20I squad against New Zealand:
Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (vc), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj.