'He picked a fifer in Nottingham last time' - Harbhajan Singh feels Hardik Pandya's absence could prove fatal for India during England series

Hardik Pandya picked up five wickets in Nottingham during India's last series in England in 2018.

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Harbhajan Singh and Hardik Pandya
Harbhajan Singh and Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

India will face England in five-match Test series starting from August 4. This series is part of the new World Test Championship Cycle (WTC) and both the teams will be eager to start the series on a winning note. Already few experts like Sunil Gavaskar and Brad Hogg have predicted which player will be key and the scoreline of the series.

Jumping into the bandwagon, former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has shared his thoughts on the upcoming high-octane Test series between England and India. India last visited the United Kingdom in 2018, where they lost the Test series 1-4. Barring Virat Kohli and Japsrit Bumrah, the other players performed in patches but could not consistently contribute to the team’s cause.

But Harbhajan feels Hardik Pandya should have been included in the squad for the Test series due to his good performance in the Nottingham match. The all-rounder claimed five for 28 in England’s first innings and enabled India to get a good lead of 168 runs. The cricketer-turned-expert feels Pandya’s absence from the team this time around might prove to be a bit dangerous.

“I feel that Hardik Pandya’s absence could prove fatal for India. He had bowled well in Nottingham and, this time the series will start in Nottingham itself. We all know that the conditions in Nottingham always favor the swing bowlers. England are always delighted at the prospect of playing at Trent Bridge as their bowlers perform well,” Harbhajan said on his YouTube channel.

Harbhajan Singh reckons Hardik Pandya’s bowling could have been handy in England

Pandya was last seen during India’s limited-overs series in Sri Lanka. Although he didn’t have the best of the series with both bat and ball, the balance he provided in playing XI was good for skipper Shikhar Dhawan. Harbhajan feels Pandya could have been used as a seam-bowling option in swinging conditions in England.

“I think the playing eleven would have been stronger had Hardik Pandya been there, not only due to his batting, but with the 10-15 overs he bowls in a day in swinging conditions, he can pick up wickets. And when he is in full flow, like the last time in Nottingham, he had picked up five wickets,” Harbhajan added.

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