Hardik Pandya has had a stellar run since returning to competitive cricket. Pandya, who has earned praise for his tactical acumen during his new IPL spell with Gujarat Titans, led the debutants to the first title. The 28-year-old was an unlikely choice for leadership due to his maverick ways and injury-prone career. But the flamboyant all-rounder from Baroda silenced doubters to help Gujarat complete a dream run in the lucrative T20 tournament. At present, Pandya even has the experience of leading the national team to a 2-0 victory against Ireland. Read also | Ishant Sharma’s direct yet different take on Virat Kohli enters India’s T20 XI issue
Currently part of the Twenty20 contingent in England, Pandya will return to the ODI format with the next 50+ series, starting July 12 (Tuesday). It remains to be seen if the team’s management uses him as a sixth bowling option given that his last ODI in India colors was almost a year ago.
Former cricketer turned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar thinks bowling the full 10 over quota will be a tough task for Pandya. “I’m worried there. I’m not sure he’s a good choice, but I don’t think he’s making the trip to the West Indies, if I remember correctly, for the days. Cricket at 50 for a versatile player is tough, it really asks a lot of you,” Manjrekar said during an interaction on Sports 18.
“You play 10 overs in about three and a half hours, which is a lot, more if you hit late and don’t stay out while you hit first and then come in and roll those 10 overs, it’s physically very exhausting,” he added.
Manjrekar also recalled playing with World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev, who felt bowling was a “demanding” task after hard work for races. With workload being an essential part of the post-coronavirus era, India could use Hardik for five odd overs in cricket over 50.
“I remember playing with Kapil Dev and he used to confess that when he used to hit first and run those hard singles and then come and play another spell, he felt that it It was a very demanding task.
“So I’m a bit worried if Hardik Pandya is playing 50-over cricket and he’s expected to make 10, or maybe he shouldn’t make 10. His stick has been so good that he can be your all-around batsman who will participate with maybe five overs in a good day,” Manjrekar explained.
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