'Something for Hardik Pandya to worry, take note and improve' - Wasim Jaffer spots areas of concern in Hardik Pandya's batting following WI series loss
Hardik Pandya managed to score only 77 runs in four innings during the five-match T20I series against the West Indies.
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West Indies won a T20I series against India for the first time since 2017 as they defeated the 'Men in Blue' by a 3-2 margin. Rovman Powell and Co. won the fifth T20I in Lauderhill, Florida by eight wickets with two overs to spare to give their passionate fans something to cheer about after a tumultuous past few months.
Hardik Pandya's batting and captaincy have come under the scanner as cricket enthusiasts have begun to dissect the debacle. In four innings, the star all-rounder managed to score just 77 runs in 70 balls. A strike rate of 110 isn't expected from a naturally aggressive player like Hardik. Even during India's innings in the fifth T20I, the 29-year-old was on eight off 16 balls at one point before eventually being dismissed on 14 off 18.
Former India opener Wasim Jaffer noted that Hardik looked rusty during the series and because he failed to keep the scoreboard ticking, the pressure got to the batters at the other end. Jaffer urged the Baroda all-rounder to take note of the areas of concern in his batting and try to improve accordingly.
"Well, it has been a concern. He looks little rusty. We can't say that the free-flowing Hardik Pandya who comes in and strikes it sweetly. Doesn't mean hitting sixes but striking it nicely, rotating the strike. Apart from the fifty he scored in the 3rd ODI, where also he started very very slowly, and picked it up in the slog overs. But even then he looked a little rusty," Wasim told ESPNcricinfo.
"That's a concern for me. Looking at how Hardik Pandya batted in the series, that was a big concern. Not every time he is going to start slowly, and he is going to finish strongly. We could see this during this series as well. As soon as he comes, the momentum drops down, the strike rate comes down and puts the pressure on the other guys and the dugout as well. Something for him to worry, take note and improve," said Jaffer.
Hardik will have time to sort his game out as he isn't part of the squad that takes on Ireland in a three-match T20I series. The experienced campaigner will be seen in action during the Asia Cup that begins on August 30.