T20 WC 2021: Selectors to decide Hardik Pandya’s fate by October 15

T20 WC 2021: Selectors to decide Hardik Pandya’s fate by October 15

Hardik Pandya did not bowl a single over during the IPL 2021 for Mumbai Indians (MI).

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selection committee is sweating over the inclusion of an additional pacer for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup. The Chetan Sharma-led panel’s concerns stem from the fact that Hardik Pandya didn’t bowl in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).

Pandya played five games in the UAE leg of the IPL, didn’t bowl a single over because the management were worried it might affect his batting. The Mumbai Indians (MI) player has been included in the T20 World Cup as an all-rounder and the selectors said while announcing the squad that he is fit to bowl. Now the situation has slightly changed since IPL. The BCCI selectors still have time to tweak the squad till October 15 as the ICC has extended a window of one week for the teams to alter their original squad.

“Indian team is at least one fast bowler short in the main squad of 15. They have two experienced campaigners in Shardul Thakur, who is also a handy bowling all-rounder, and Deepak Chahar, who has shown his batting prowess in Sri Lanka in the stand byes.

“So in case Hardik is not able to bowl, one of the two can be fitted in by the Committee,” a senior BCCI source told, according to Onmanorama.

Interestingly, Hardik Pandya bowled a few overs during the white-ball series against Sri Lanka. It seemed as if the all-rounder recovered from the back issues. The 28-year-old is important in maintaining the balance of the team and MI suffered due to it as skipper Rohit Sharma could not use him to bowl as the fifth bowling option in the team.

Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur in contention

If the selectors think Pandya won’t be able to play purely as a batter during the T20 World Cup, then they have backup players in Thakur and Chahar to choose from. But for now, Yuzvendra Chahal getting in the team in place of Varun Chakravarthy is in doubt.

“The only option is if Varun Chakravarthy, who has dodgy knees, is ruled out by Indian team’s support staff then Yuzi can get in. Selectors can pick him among stand byes so that if Chakravarthy’s fitness becomes a concern, he can be drafted.”