'The striking power has been seen slightly less' - Aakash Chopra expresses concern on Hardik Pandya's form

"If you see his international numbers for the last little while, you will find that he hasn't done any significant hitting," said Chopra.

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Aakash Chopra and Hardik Pandya
Aakash Chopra and Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: Twitter and RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)

Hardik Pandya was going great guns as the captain of India's T20I side in the absence of Rohit Sharma. However, the 3-2 loss against the West Indies in the five-match T20I series was the first debacle for the Baroda all-rounder as the captain of India. Since that defeat, questions have been raised over his captaincy skills and also his batting form.

Aakash Chopra recently gave a statistical breakdown of Hardik's worrisome dip in strike rates in recent T20 matches. The numbers do not make a good viewing given how important a role the 29-year-old is expected to play in India's upcoming Asia Cup and ODI World Cup campaigns.

“If we see his stats as a batter also in T20Is from 15th August (2022) to 15th August (2023), he has played 25 matches, among those who have batted at No. 4 or lower, he is third from bottom in terms of strike rate. He has not done a lot of hitting there as well. So that is also a problem,” said Chopra on his YouTube channel.

“The striking power has been seen slightly less. If you see his international numbers for the last little while, you will find that he hasn't done any significant hitting. In the last 10 T20Is, you see only two or three instances where the runs are more than the balls, which is not a good story,” he added.

The 2022 IPL was brilliant for Hardik Pandya but 2023 was okay-okay: Aakash Chopra

In charge of a new franchise, Gujarat Titans, in the Indian Premier League 2022, Hardik was exceptional with his all-round talent as he scored 487 runs at an average of 44.27 and a strike rate of 131.27. He also picked up eight wickets during the title-winning campaign.

However, in 2023, runs and wickets dried up considerably for the experienced campaigner, as he scored only 346 runs in 16 games at an average of 31.45. The strike rate, however, went up a few notches to 136.76. Meanwhile, he only picked up three wickets with the ball.

“The 2022 IPL was brilliant, where he hit very well, the strike rate was high, the runs and wickets were also more. 2023 was an okay-okay IPL. The runs were also fewer, he picked up only three wickets and the strike rate wasn't anything special either,” said Chopra.

In the recently-concluded T20I series against the West Indies, Hardik scored just 77 runs in four innings at a strike rate of just 110. He had a decent outing with the ball as he finished with four wickets at an economy of 8.40. Hardik will hope to go big in the upcoming Asia Cup and that could give him confidence with the ODI World Cup being less than two months away.

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