Former Indian cricketer turned commentator, Aakash Chopra believes Hardik Pandya's role as an all-rounder is critical to India’s success in the World Cup.
Hosting JioCinema’s daily sports show ‘#AAKASHVANI,’ Aakash Chopra opined whether India is too dependent on Hardik Pandya and his role in the team, as Ravindra Jadeja hasn’t performed with the bat lately.
“I am a bit worried that India is too dependent on Hardik Pandya. There is no other player like him in the squad – nobody bowls in the top 6. Ravindra Jadeja can play at No. 7, but his batting form hasn’t been great lately. Also, Pandya is the only batting all-rounder in the team and Shardul Thakur isn’t – he can’t bat at No. 6. Hence, I believe that Hardik Pandya is critical to team India’s success in the World Cup, said Aakash Chopra.
Aakash also felt a bit worried about Hardik Pandya’s recent form, as he hasn’t played much 50-over cricket after coming back from injury, which might hinder his performance.
Another reason why I am worried about this is the fact that he did not play the last three ODIs against Australia and the warm-up matches did not happen. He has not played a lot of cricket - he played in the Asia Cup final and took a couple of wickets but could not bat and the last two fixtures against Pakistan were not too significant in terms of his performance. So, there might be a chance he might not be at his best in his first game in Chennai.”
India will play their first World Cup match against Australia, on Sunday at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium.