Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar feels that Hardik Pandya is capable enough to walk into the national side as a pure batsman in the limited-overs format. Pandya hasn’t been consistently bowling either for team India or for Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.
During a recent virtual interaction, Manjrekar highlighted that the Baroda cricketer has proven his mettle during last year’s limited-overs series against Australia. He emerged as the leading run-scorer for the Virat Kohli-led side in the ODIs while amassing 210 runs in three games at an outstanding average of 105.
“Hardik proved in Australia that he is perfectly capable of playing in the team as a pure batter, there is no doubt now that he can do that. I am also reading reports that he has started bowling as well. He has shown that he has the ability to walk into the team as a pure batter in white-ball cricket,” Manjrekar said in a virtual interaction.
“Suryakumar Yadav is an ideal number three batsman” – Manjrekar
The cricketer-turned-commentator also talked about the chances of including Suryakumar Yadav in the Indian squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE. Manjrekar mentioned that with the news coming out that Kohli and Rohit Sharma will open the innings, Surya can be a great choice as a number three batsman.
“Yes, I think he is one of the front-runners, especially with the news coming out that Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are going to be India’s openers. There could be a number three slot open for me. I don’t know what plan they have with (KL) Rahul, there certainly is a place for someone like Suryakumar Yadav.
“I have rarely seen somebody bat like that in the IPL for the whole season and even more, the kind of batsmanship we have seen. And makes him an ideal number three, he can hit good balls for fours, certainly one of the options,” he added.
Both Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav are currently training in Sri Lanka ahead of the six-match limited-overs series, starting from July 17.