‘Did he need rest or was he axed?’ – Aakash Chopra on Hardik Pandya’s omission from New Zealand T20Is

‘Did he need rest or was he axed?’ – Aakash Chopra on Hardik Pandya’s omission from New Zealand T20Is

Of late, Hardik has been a pale shadow of his glorious self.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Hardik Pandya couldn’t make the cut for India’s home T20I series against New Zealand as the BCCI named the squad for the white-ball games on Tuesday, November 9. The 28-year-old Gujarat-born all-rounder hasn’t had the best of times over the last two months playing both for India and the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.

In India’s campaign in the T20 World Cup 2021, he was a pale shadow of his glorious self. The youngster racked up 69 runs from five matches at an average of 34.50 and a strike-rate of 153.33. Moreover, questions over his fitness were raised since he wasn’t bowling enough. He went into the mega event, having not bowled a single over in IPL 2021.

In the World Cup, Hardik rolled his arms over for four overs where he couldn’t get a wicket and leaked 40 runs at an economy rate of 10. In the meantime, former Indian batter Aakash Chopra reckoned that Hardik might have been “axed” due to his indifferent performance.

While speaking on his YouTube channel, Chopra also said that resting outgoing T20I skipper Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah made sense to a large extent.

Hardik Pandya didn’t do anything in the last two games, says Chopra

“It was fair to give Kohli, Shami, Jadeja and Bumrah a rest but what about Hardik Pandya? Did he need that rest? Or is he axed? He doesn’t play Test cricket, didn’t bowl in the IPL as well and, in the T20 World Cup, he didn’t do anything in the last two games,” Chopra said.

Moreover, Chopra reckoned that picking as many as five opening batters in the squad may not do good for the Men in Blue. He urged the BCCI to pick players going by the slots where they performed well in the IPL.

“There are too many openers in the squad. There is a fundamental flaw in our system. In the future, the team should, especially in T20s, pick players for the available slots and where the respective players have scored runs. Considering the IPL performance is a good thing, but if you’re saying the highest run-scoring opener to play at No.5 for India, he cannot perform equally well,’ he stated.

“There are 5 openers in the squad for the 3-match series. Moreover, Rahul and Rohit will certainly play unless the team wins the first two matches and then allows them to rest for the dead-rubber,” Chopra added.