Hardik Pandya garnered significant attention during India’s recent three-match ODI series and subsequent five-match T20I series against the West Indies. However, his performance left much to be desired, with only one half-century in the ODIs and a total of 77 runs in the T20Is, along with modest returns in the bowling department – one wicket in the ODIs and four wickets in the T20Is.
Sanjay Manjrekar expressed concern about Hardik’s struggling form with the ball, emphasizing the pivotal role the all-rounder must play for India’s success in the upcoming ODI World Cup in October-November. Drawing a parallel to the 2011 World Cup victory, where the contributions of Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina as all-rounders were crucial, Manjrekar stressed that Hardik needs to step up similarly to break India’s ICC event drought.
Highlighting the importance of Hardik’s bowling prowess, Sanjay Manjrekar remarked, “Hardik Pandya’s form is a little bit of concern, his bowling because you will have to do a lot of physical work in the World Cup because you need him as the all-rounder not just a batter so at least 6-7 overs per innings is what is expected from him.” He went on to underscore that successful all-rounders played a defining role in India’s previous World Cup victory.
Sanjay Manjrekar stated, “When India won the World Cup in 2011, it was because of people like Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh, pure batters who bowled a bit, so Hardik Pandya’s bowling is very important.”
As India gears up for the upcoming Asia Cup, set to commence on August 30, the spotlight will undoubtedly be on Hardik Pandya. The tournament provides a platform for him to regain his form and confidence.
With India placed in Group A alongside arch-rivals Pakistan and newcomers Nepal, Hardik’s contribution will be crucial to India’s campaign. The Asia Cup serves as a crucial opportunity for Hardik to rediscover his rhythm, and Indian fans are hopeful that he can regain his mojo well before the much-anticipated ODI World Cup, which is just around the corner.