Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has the potential to be the game-changer for India, not just in the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 but in every match. He expressed that he wants to see the all-rounder bowl with the new ball.
Hardik Pandya made a comeback to India’s T20I on Friday against South Africa. Before that match, he last played for India in the ICC T20 World Cup last year. However, the all-rounder’s brilliant performance and leadership for the Gujarat Titans in the IPL 2022 season, earned him a comeback.
Hardik smashed 31 not out off 12 balls to help India post a total of 211/4 in the first innings. India eventually lost the match by seven wickets as South Africa chased it down comfortably. Speaking about the all-rounder’s performance, the former Indian skipper, Sunil Gavaskar expressed on Star Sports,
“I think he is going to be the game-changer for India, more often than not, in all the matches that are due to come, not just the World Cup but every single match that India plays, whether he bats at No. 5, whether he comes into bowl at first change or second change. Sometimes I will actually want to see him with the new ball.”
Talk about annoucing his return in style! 👌 👌
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 9, 2022
Having Hardik Pandya as a full-blown all-rounder is key to the balance of India’s team- Graeme Smith
Former South African cricketer Graeme Smith was asked about is India needs Hardik the finisher more than Hardik the all-rounder. Replying to the question, he expressed that Hardik’s all-around ability brings balance to the Indian team. Graeme Smith stated,
“No, I disagree. You need the finisher as well but I think the all-round package of Hardik Pandya gives India options in selection.”
“It might give you the option of playing the extra spinner or a bowler less and strengthen your batting and going into the World Cup, I think having him as a full-blown all-rounder is key to the balance of India’s team.”, he added.