T20 World Cup: Hardik Pandya’s bowling fitness raises alarms for team India selectors; final call by October 15 – Reports

Hardik Pandya had a disappointing run with Mumbai Indians (MI) in IPL 2021 with the bat as well.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya

The Indian cricket team’s selectors are highly unhappy with the ongoing bowling fiasco of Hardik Pandya. The junior Pandya, who was picked as a fast-bowling all-rounder in the 15-member squad for the much-awaited 2021 ICC T20 World Cup, missed out on bowling even a single delivery for Mumbai Indians (MI) in IPL 2021.

Hardik Pandya is set to play a crucial role for the Virat Kohli-led side as he’s just the fourth seamer, alongside Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. However, the selectors have adopted a “wait and watch” approach till October 15 to take a final call on the right-hander’s spot in the national squad. 

“The selectors will wait and watch on how Hardik shapes up in the next few days. The selectors went with just three genuine pacers because it was believed Hardik would be fit enough to bowl his quota of overs. Since he hasn’t bowled at all in the IPL, there’s no form to go by,” a top BCCI official told The Times Of India on Sunday.

Notably, the deadline for submitting the final squads for the T20 WC teams in the Super 12 stage is October 15. Following the qualifiers between Oct 17-22, the league stage games will take place from October 23 onwards.

“Teams can change their teams seven days prior to the start of their support period. India’s support period starts with the Super 12 which begins on Oct 23. So, they have time to change the team till Oct 15 at midnight,” an ICC source told TOI.

“Hardik Pandya is running out of time as an all-rounder”

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya

The BCCI source further added that Hardik Panya is unlikely to be dropped from the squad even if he isn’t fit to bowl. However, he went on to say that the selectors might include either Deepak Chahar or Shardul Thakur as an extra seamer.

“It’s not decided if Hardik will be dropped altogether if he doesn’t get bowling ready. But he is running out of time as an allrounder. If any one of Thakur and Deepak gets in, then there’s a chance of the selectors asking Harshal Patel to stay back in UAE,” the BCCI source added.

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