‘You cannot count him out’ – Gautam Gambhir backs Hardik Pandya to make a strong comeback

Gambhir also urged the selectors to not change playing elevens after a failure or two.

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

Former Indian batter Gautam Gambhir said that one shouldn’t write Hardik Pandya off after the latter’s omission from the ongoing three-match T20I series against New Zealand. Hardik hasn’t had the best of times for the last two months as he has faltered both while playing for India and for the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.

Moreover, the fact that he didn’t bowl much in the IPL and the T20 World Cup gave his teams plenty of headaches. In the WC, Hardik bowled four overs, leaking 40 runs and he didn’t get a wicket either. Gambhir, one of India’s finest openers during his heydays, reckoned that Hardik can make a strong comeback if he gains his fitness and starts bowling on a regular basis.

Gautam Gambhir calls for longer rope for players

“You won’t find a No.6 in one day. Nor will you find a replacement for it. And you cannot count out Hardik Pandya as well. People have already started writing him off, but if he keeps himself fit, does regular bowling, come back to form, he should definitely get a chance, he is still young.

“But with that if you give other players a chance as well, and give them a longer rope, only then will you understand their capability,” Gambhir was quoted as saying in India Today.

Gambhir also urged the selectors to not change playing elevens after a failure or two. He requested the selection panel to show some faith on the players.

“If you keep changing players after every series you won’t be able to find your best XI. There is replacement for every player in this country, given the amount of cricket we play in India, no one is invincible or indispensable. But players must be trusted with the role for a longer period to understand their capabilities,” he added.

Back in 2016, Hardik made his debut for Team India and was touted to become India’s genuine all-rounder in the future. However, in the last three years or so, Pandya has endured a number of injury concerns due to which he has had to sit out. Due to his constant tussle with injuries, its been three years since he last played Test cricket.

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