Indian selectors will assess Hardik Pandya’s fitness for the next five days.
ICC T20 World Cup 2021: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has five more days left for making any tweaks in the Indian T20 World Cup 2021 squad. The selectors, though, are confident enough on the picked squad, however, the unavailability of all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s bowling is an area of concern of the Men in Blue.
It’s crucial to note that Hardik hasn’t been bowling in his full flow ever since he underwent his back surgery in 2019. The all rounder’s performance has also dipped after the surgery with reoccurring niggles.
The swashbuckling all-rounder started bowling during England’s tour to India, however, another niggle forced him not to bowl and has, since, played as a proper batsman. Hardik hasn’t bowled a single delivery in the entire Vivo IPL 2021 for Mumbai Indians (MI). Moreover, his batting performance is not pleasing enough either, mounting on his woes.
Mumbai Indians (MI) skipper Rohit Sharma recently gave an update that Hardik is being assessed by the medical team and is likely to begin his bowling in the next couple of days.
The Indian selectors, who thought Hardik to be completely in shape to bowl during the T20 World Cup squad selections, are now fretting over the all rounder’s availability in the bowling department. The Indian think tank is now contemplating adding another pacer to the squad for the T20 World Cup.
“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 BCCI official in the know of developments told Times Of India.
India can make changes to T20I squad till October 15:
Team India still have ample time to make changes in the T20 Squad. Earlier, it was learnt that the final date for submission of the confirmed T20I squad was 10th October, however, the ICC source confirmed that the Super12 teams can make changes to the squad by 15th October midnight 12.
The deadline of 10th October was for those teams which were part of Round 1 qualifications of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.
“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 begin on Oct 23. So, they have time to change the team till Oct 15 at midnight,” an ICC source told TOI.
The selectors are of the view to add either Shardul Thakur or Deepak Chahar to the Indian T20 Squad in place of Hardik Pandya, if he doesn’t prove his bowling fitness. Both the aforementioned players are in the Indian squad as reserve players. If this happens, BCCI may ask Harshal Patel to stay back in the UAE.
“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.