Former Team India cricketer Virender Sehwag has fired shots at Virat Kohli & Co for not bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya in the 2nd ODI against England at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. Meanwhile, the visitors thrashed India beating them by six wickets chasing 337 runs in just 43.3 overs thanks to match-winning knocks from Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow.
Incidentallty, ever since Hardik Pandya returned to competitive cricket, post his surgery, he hasn’t bowled much. While he didn’t bowl at all for the Mumbai Indians (MI) in IPL 2020, he also refrained from bowling in the Australia tour’s limited-overs leg, apart from bowling four overs in the second and penultimate ODI. The ace all-rounder was at his best during the T20I series against England.
However, surprisingly, Virat Kohli & Co hasn’t used Hardik in the ODIs despite bowlers going for plenty. Barring Bhuvneshwar Kumar, all Indian bowlers were taken to cleaners in the 2nd ODI but Virat Kohli didn’t turn an eye to Hardik Pandya which earned criticisms from all quarters. Clearning their stance on the all-rounder, Kohli maintained that they want to manage his workload considering the ICC T20 World Cup to follow.
“We need to manage his (Hardik) body. Need to understand where we need this skill set. Did utilise him in the T20Is but in the ODIs, it’s about managing his workload. We have Test cricket in England coming up too. So it’s important for us to have him fit,” Virat Kohli said.
Virender Sehwag rubbishes Hardik Pandya workload management theory
However, the explanation didn’t go well with Virender Sehwag who slammed Virat Kohli & Co during a show in Cricbuzz. The cricketer-turned commentator highlighted that Hardik Pandya has not bowled a lot in recent times so his workload management idea doesn’t hold a stand.
“But India isn’t playing any cricket in the next few months! We only have the IPL next. So you are saying that we have no problem losing the ODI series because we had to manage Hardik Pandya’s workload. If his workload doesn’t include 4-5 overs then it’s wrong. He is trying to say that India is trying to manage the workload of every bowler and the same is for Hardik Pandya. But it also shouldn’t be the case that he isn’t bowling even a single over. Fielding for 50 overs also causes fatigue. So if he adds 4-5 overs to it, it shouldn’t make a huge difference on his workload,” Virender Sehwag said.
“I don’t know who decides that Hardik Pandya’s workload has become excessive. Since he has come back from his [back] surgery, he hasn’t played much cricket. He sat out in the Tests, played the 5 T20Is and bowled in 2-3 of those… so he hasn’t taken any load yet. I can understand if he is playing constantly and is playing every format but at the moment he has only bowled 4-4 overs in 3-4 T20I games. But yes, this is a possibility that he himself might have asked for a break from bowling in the ODIs to prevent any injuries before the IPL,” Virender Sehwag added.