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Irfan Pathan Emphasizes Hardik Pandya’s Role Amid IPL Form Concerns for T20 World Cup 2024
By CricShots - Jun 1, 2024 3:32 pm
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India is poised to end an 11-year drought for ICC silverware as they head to the West Indies and the United States for the T20 World Cup 2024. Under the leadership of Rohit Sharma and the guidance of Head Coach Rahul Dravid, the team is determined to reclaim their status as champions. Dravid has excelled in bilateral series during his tenure but has faced challenges replicating that success in major tournaments, with India falling short in both the T20 World Cup 2022 and the 50-over World Cup 2023.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya

The current Indian team is navigating internal leadership dynamics, particularly between Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya. Pandya, who succeeded Rohit as the captain of Mumbai Indians, is seen as the future leader of the national team, having been named vice-captain for the T20 World Cup 2024. This transition in leadership has sparked discussions and concerns within the squad.

Former Indian pacer Irfan Pathan emphasizes that Dravid’s primary challenge will be to ensure that the players, especially Pandya, do not let their IPL form affect their performance in international matches.

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“I will not even discuss this. Whatever happened has happened. I will just say that this is my expectation from you: I want you to win matches for India. This is the roadmap, and you are an important part of the team and a match-winner. Being an all-rounder, he will play a crucial role. How many fast bowlers have we taken? Just three specialist bowlers, besides Hardik and Shivam Dube,” Irfan Pathan stated in an interview with Hindustan Times.

irfan pathan
Irfan pathan

He further elaborated on Pandya’s significance, saying, “So when the time comes, these 3-4 overs will become very crucial. Remember, he will allow us to play an extra spinner in West Indies when we play day games. So this is where he comes into the picture. He needs to feel good and believe that he can make a contribution, and hence the conversation of the IPL should not be even happening even once.”

India is placed in Group A of the T20 World Cup 2024, alongside teams like Pakistan, Ireland, the United States, and Canada. The top two teams from each group will advance to the Super-8 stage of the tournament.

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India will commence their campaign with a game against Ireland on June 5 in New York, followed by a highly anticipated clash against Pakistan on June 9 at the Nassau County Stadium in New York. With a blend of experienced players and emerging talents, India hopes to overcome past disappointments and secure their first ICC title since 2013, restoring their legacy in international cricket.