Home Cricket News Gautam Gambhir Shares How Hardik Pandya Can Get Into India’s Playing XI

Gautam Gambhir Shares How Hardik Pandya Can Get Into India’s Playing XI

Gautam Gambhir - MS Dhoni
Gautam Gambhir (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Former India player Gautam Gambhir has said that Hardik Pandya can only be a part of Team India’s playing XI in the upcoming marquee event – T20 World Cup if he does well with the ball. However, Pandya was earlier included in India’s 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup.

However, with uncertainties about his fitness, the Indian selectors included Shardul Thakur in place of Axar Patel to strengthen their pace-bowling department. And, Gambhir has shared that Hardik Pandya needs to prove his fitness in the two warmup games to make Team India’s playing XI.

He said while previewing the upcoming T20 World Cup during a discussion on the Star Sports show – Game Plan, “For me, Hardik Pandya gets into India’s playing XI only if he does proper bowling in both warmup games, not only in the nets. There is a huge difference between bowling in the nets and against quality batsmen like Babar Azam and that too in the World Cup.”

“He has to bowl in the practice matches and the nets, and he has to bowl 100 percent. If you are thinking that you will come and bowl just at 115-120 kph, I will not take that risk,” he further added. 

“If I have to pick five bowlers I will pick Ishan Kishan ahead of Hardik Pandya” – Gautam Gambhir

Ishan Kishan
Photo: IPL

However, Hardik Pandya has been suffering from multiple injuries and did not bowl a single delivery for the Mumbai Indians (MI) during the IPL 2021 as well. And, Gautam Gambhir shared that he would include Ishan Kishan before Pandya if Pandya is playing only as a specialist batsman.

“If I have to go with just five bowlers, then I will pick Ishan Kishan ahead of Hardik Pandya on current form. If you are going with five proper bowlers and six batsmen, Hardik’s form is probably a massive concern. Forget about the bowling, with the bat as well,” Gautam Gambhir concluded.

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