Reports: Mentor MS Dhoni’s inputs to be crucial in solving Hardik Pandya puzzle ahead of T20 World Cup 2021

Reports: Mentor MS Dhoni’s inputs to be crucial in solving Hardik Pandya puzzle ahead of T20 World Cup 2021

Hardik Pandya didn’t bowl a single over in IPL 2021.

Mahendra Singh Dhon with Hardik Pandya
Mahendra Singh Dhon with Hardik Pandya. (Photo by DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Hardik Pandya’s fitness has to be the biggest concern for Team India with the T20 World Cup 2021 being just around the corner. Owing to his injury issues, the all-rounder hasn’t been able to bowl much in the last few years. He has also undergone multiple surgeries during this period. As the right-arm pacer bowled in Team India colours earlier this year, many reckoned he would a great asset in the global event.

However, Hardik didn’t bowl a single over in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. He even missed a couple of matches due to fitness issues. Although Mumbai Indians persisted with the one-dimensional Hardik, the Indian team management might not have the same perspective. Many experts reckoned that Hardik’s inability to bowl could hamper the balance of the team.

Apparently, he shouldn’t be considered as a pure batter. However, it must be noted that Hardik can be a destructive batter lower down the order. Hence, one can’t rule out the possibility of the dasher playing a pure finisher. While only time would tell how the Indian team management handles this matter, MS Dhoni’s inputs will reportedly be crucial in deciding Hardik’s role.

Will Hardik Pandya play as a pure batter in T20 World Cup 2021

“The concern is Hardik as he is an altogether different player when he can bat and bowl. Imagine having two match-winning all-rounders in the form of Hardik and Ravindra Jadeja. But the same Hardik becomes slightly less effective if he can’t bowl and the team composition needs a rethink in that case,” Times Now quoted a source as per saying.

“Does he have the ability to win you games as a finisher? Yes, he does. But would you play him purely as a finisher or a lower-order batsman? This is where the role of a mentor like MSD becomes all the more crucial. He has seen Hardik grow as a cricketer and his input will be important as the middle-order would need the experience of someone like Hardik who has played in showpiece events,” the source further explained.

For the unversed, MS Dhoni has been named India’s mentor for the showpiece event. One of the most successful captains in international cricket, the former Indian skipper has a plethora of experience and it would be interesting to see whether Virat Kohli’s men can thrive under him or not.

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