IPL 2024
Wasim Jaffer Highlights Hardik Pandya’s Crucial Role For India In T20 World Cup 2024
By CricShots - Jun 5, 2024 4:11 pm
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Former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer believes that Hardik Pandya will play a pivotal role for the Men in Blue in the upcoming T20 World Cup, which will be held in the USA and West Indies. Drawing parallels to Yuvraj Singh’s match-winning performances in the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 ODI World Cup, Jaffer highlighted Pandya’s potential impact.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya

Yuvraj Singh was instrumental in India’s victories in both the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 ODI World Cup. The former Indian all-rounder was named “Player of the Tournament” in both ICC events. Since their Champions Trophy win in 2013, the Indian team has not secured an ICC trophy, making the upcoming tournament even more critical.

Hardik Pandya had notable performances during the 2022 T20 World Cup, including a crucial 40-run knock against Pakistan in the group stage and an impressive 63 off 33 deliveries in the semi-final, despite India’s eventual loss to Jos Buttler’s England team. In an interview with ESPNCricinfo, Wasim Jaffer emphasized the importance of Pandya stepping up as an all-rounder. He also mentioned that Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel will play key roles in the tournament.

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“When India won the World Cup in 2011 and 2007 (T20), Yuvraj Singh’s role was very crucial. So they will be hoping that Hardik Pandya steps up as an all-rounder. The role of both Hardik and Shivam Dube will be very crucial. Even Jadeja and Axar as all-rounders will be important where you may play two left-arm spinners,” Wasim Jaffer explained.

Despite a disappointing season in the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL), where the Mumbai Indians (MI) finished at the bottom of the table with just four wins out of 14 matches, Hardik Pandya remains a key player. He scored 216 runs in 14 matches and took 11 wickets, though his economy rate was an expensive 10.75.

Wasim Jaffer
Wasim Jaffer

However, Pandya’s recent performance in a warm-up match against Bangladesh was promising. He scored an unbeaten 40 runs off 23 deliveries, including three consecutive sixes off Tanvir Islam, and also picked up a wicket, despite conceding 30 runs in three overs. Wasim Jaffer suggested that the team management should include at least three all-rounders in their playing XI. He believes Axar Patel could be particularly effective against teams that struggle with spin.

“I think Hardik Pandya, Shivam Dube, and Ravindra Jadeja all three will definitely play. You can unleash Axar Patel too against sides that you feel are a bit weak against spin. But the aforementioned three all-rounders will definitely play according to me,” Wasim Jaffer added.

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The Rohit Sharma-led Indian team is set to face Ireland in their T20 World Cup opener at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York on Wednesday, June 5. They will aim to secure an early victory before the highly anticipated match against Pakistan at the same venue.

Wasim Jaffer’s India Playing XI vs Ireland: Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh.