T20 World Cup 2021: Hardik Pandya starts bowling, undergoes fitness drills under watchful eyes

Team India was exposed for the unavailability of the sixth bowling option in the match against Pakistan, earlier this Sunday.

T20 World Cup 2021: Hardik Pandya starts bowling, undergoes fitness drills under watchful eyes
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Hardik Pandya starts bowling, undergoes fitness drills under watchful eyes.

T20 World Cup 2021: Team India’s senior all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Wednesday begin his bowling after a long break of over two and a half months. The all-rounder was seen doing some fitness drills and bowling practice with several other cricketers.

Pandya came under the selector’s radar following his inability to provide his bowling services. In India’s opening match against Pakistan, which India lost by 10 wickets, Hardik played solely as a batter and India’s sixth bowler woes were exposed.

The selectors during the team selection termed Hardik Pandya completely fit to provide his all-rounder services, however, the future turned out to be otherwise. Pandya didn’t bowl a single delivery during the IPL 2021 and was not given the ball in the first match against Pakistan as well.

Team India underwent an optional training session in the ICC Academy ground on Wednesday which mainly focused on Hardik Pandya, though several other cricketers were seen doing their practice there. Under the watchful eyes of physio Nitin Patel and assistant trainer Soham Desai, Pandya began with some fitness drills which lasted about 20 minutes following by a few rounds of bowling.

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Indian skipper Virat Kohli along with head coach Ravi Shastri and mentor MS Dhoni observed the progress of the all-rounder closely during his net session.

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Sixth Bowling option for India:

The Men in Blue are concerned over the availability of the sixth genuine bowling option for the team. In the first match, India fielded five bowlers which didn’t go well with the team and prompted the management to stress more on the sixth bowler.

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Shardul Thakur was drafted into the Indian squad after the selectors expressed concerns over Hardik Pandya’s bowling failures. He can be used as an all-rounder if Hardik Pandya fails constantly, however, experts believe that though Thakur can provide his valuable services as a sixth bowler, his batting prowess is not as honed as Hardik’s.

India will play its next T20 World Cup 2021 match against New Zealand on 31st October in Dubai International Stadium. It will be interesting to see how India comes up after the horrifying defeat and how the playing combination will look like for the inaugural T20 World Cup champions.

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