Hardik Pandya bowling in full swing, a good sign for team India ahead of World Cup 2022: Experienced all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been in the news for a while now. The tonking superstar usually makes it to the headlines with his match-winning knocks, however, the recent past hasn’t been kind to him. He was criticised heavily across social media platforms for not bowling in the T20 World Cup 2021 and for the miscommunication with the BCCI.
Hardik, following the T20 World Cup in the UAE, went out of the international competition and devoted his time to regain full fitness. The cricketer worked hard, even neglected team India selection for a while.
Everyone thought that this injury might end Hardik’s international career, but the all-rounder is again back into the scheme of things as he bowled in full swing in his first IPL 2022 match against Lucknow Super Giants.
Hardik, the skipper of Gujarat Titans (GT), kickstarted his stint as the leader of an IPL side with a win over LSG on Monday. More than the win, the Indian fans were pretty happy and delighted to see Hardik rolling his arm and completing his quota of 4 overs effectively.
Though, in his 4 overs, Hardik conceded 37 runs without a wicket, however, it must be noted that the all-rounder clocked 140 kmph speed which was a good sign for Gujarat Titans (GT) and Indian cricket.
Hardik’s very first over, in which he gave away just a single run, clocked at 139, 137, 140, 134, 138 and 139 kmph.
With the bat as well Hardik contributed with 33 runs to help his side edge Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the Wankhede Stadium.
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Hardik Pandya bowling in full swing, a good sign for team India ahead of World Cup 2022.
Hardik can walk into Indian team: Ravi Shastri
Former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri praised the all-rounder for his commendable come back and said that he can walk into the Indian team if he continue to bowl regularly.
“He looks fit and the early picture also says that he has probably worked very hard and also realises that with the World Cup coming up in four months from now, he has got to be in at his optimum fitness. We saw before the toss he was bowling and loosening up, which is a terrific sign for Indian cricket because I think he is twice the player when he bowls. It gives that added strength to his bow. He plays and bats differently,” Shastri told ESPNCricinfo.
Shastri said that with the added captaincy role, Hardik has perhaps got his injection which will fuel him to get back to his absolute best.
“Now that he is captain there is more responsibility and perhaps it is just the injection he needs to be super charged,” he added.
It’s noteworthy that team India still hasn’t got a perfect replacement for Hardik Pandya. With T20 World Cup 2022 approaching, it will be a massive booster for the team if Hardik again makes a comeback and performs for the men in blue.
Venkatesh Iyer has shown some positive signs during his limited chances, however, he is yet not called the sure-shot replacement for Hardik Pandya on the Indian side.
“He [Hardik] knows if he is fully fit, he walks into the side [team India]. If he is fully fit and bowling, I don’t think he has to worry about his place in the side, the other guys will have to. He is a match winner and a complete package. He is a safe fielder in the outfield. He is a smart bowler, he judges things well because he thinks like a batter when he bowls,” Shastri said.
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