Hardik Pandya's Inability To Bowl In IPL 2021 May Cost Him His Place In The T20I World Cup Squad
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Hardik Pandya’s Inability To Bowl In IPL 2021 May Cost Him His Place In The T20I World Cup Squad

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya’s failure to bowl in the ongoing IPL 2021 is likely to cost him dearly as his place in the T20 World Cup squad remains uncertain.

The final 15-member squad has to be submitted to the International Cricket Council by October 10. Any changes after the deadline will have to be cleared by the tournament’s technical committee.

Hardik Pandya Bowling [Image-Twitter]
Hardik Pandya Bowling [Image-Twitter]

Hardik Pandya’s Inability To Bowl In IPL 2021 May Cost Him His Place In The T20I World Cup Squad

There’s also a good chance that out-of-favour spinner Yuzvendra Chahal could be rewarded for his consistent IPL performances. He may find himself among the reserves, subject to clearance from the team management. Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene has admitted that Hardik Pandya’s fitness could be an issue if he is forced to bowl now. That has set the alarm bells ringing among the national selectors.

Yuzvendra Chahal was left out of the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup 2021, and he wasn’t named in the reserves as well, owing to his poor form in the last six months. Even in phase one of IPL 2021 in India, Yuzvendra Chahal could pick up just 4 wickets in 7 games at a high bowling average and never looked in a good rhythm. However, he started to get better in the series against Sri Lanka and has been a revelation since the start of the UAE phase of IPL 2021.

Yuzvendra Chahal has picked up 11 wickets in 6 games in UAE already with an excellent economic rate.

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal appeals for a wicket © ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images

A one-dimensional Hardik Pandya upsets the team balance since he has been picked for his all-around abilities. Chief selector Chetan Sharma had said  Hardik Pandya would be available to bowl his quota of overs. However, Hardik Pandya sat out Mumbai Indians’ first two matches after the resumption because of a niggle.

Hardik Pandya-the younger Pandya brother largely failed to hit a big knock in the first leg of IPL 2021. In 11 IPL 2021 matches so far, he scored 117 runs averaging a pathetic 14.62. After missing out on a lot of action owing to a back injury, Hardik Pandya made a phenomenal comeback in the IPL 2020 season, playing the finisher role for the team and hammering the ball in the slog overs at a strike rate of 178, unlike this season.

Shardul Thakur Or Deepak Chahar From The Reserves Will Make It To The Main Squad If Hardik Pandya Isn’t Available

The selectors are awaiting the team management’s views. The Indian support staff will leave for Dubai on Friday, barring head coach Ravi Shastri, who is already there for personal reasons. If Hardik Pandya is left out, Shardul Thakur or Deepak Chahar will make the squad from among the reserves. Talk about Varun Chakravarthy’s fitness issues have been dismissed by KKR, who feel the mystery spinner has shown huge improvement.

Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar (Image Source: @IPL)
Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar (Image Source: @IPL)

Shardul Thakur, who has been instrumental in India’s red-ball success over the past two years, made the T20 World Cup squad only as an injury reserve. The bowling all-rounder has extended his purple patch to the IPL as well.  He has consistently provided CSK with pivotal breakthroughs at just the right moment.

Shardul Thakur’s overall tally in IPL 2021 reads at 15 wickets from 14 matches at an average of 28.33. He is among the top 10 wicket-takers in IPL 2021. The right-arm pacer Deepak Chahar showed magnificent form in the first leg, picking 2 four-wicket hauls. He has picked up 12 scalps from 13 games, averaged 28.75, and had an economy of 8.02.

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