Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman said Hardik Pandya’s return will add balance to the T20I side. Pandya was rested for the tour of the West Indies after the conclusion of the World Cup. However, Pandya is not named in India’s Test squad for the series against South Africa. The all-rounder will add firepower to the batting order as he has the skills to score runs quickly.
Furthermore, Pandya can chip in with his bowling. Pandya had a good World Cup campaign as he added the finishing touches to India’s total. The right-hander scored 226 runs in nine innings at a staggering strike rate of 112.44. Thus, Pandya will like to continue his good form going when he will make a comeback into the national colors.
Pandya can add the finishing touches.
VVS stated that he would also like to see Manish Pandey get more opportunities in the playing XI.
“India boasts a powerful and experienced batting line-up which gives them the edge straight away, and the return of Hardik Pandya adds greater firepower to the batting and balance to the team,” Laxman wrote in his column for Times of India on Sunday.
“While Hardik will slot straightaway into the playing XI, I would also like to see Manish Pandey retain his place because against West Indies, he didn’t get many opportunities to showcase his abilities.”
On the other hand, VVS Laxman believes India’s opener Shikhar Dhawan will need to pull up the socks in the shortest format of the game. The southpaw batsman hasn’t been consistent in the T20I version and he would be under the scanner.
Dhawan needs to pull up his socks.
“With the next T20 World Cup a little over a year away, India will have to decide whether Shikhar Dhawan is still the preferred opening partner for Rohit Sharma going forward. Shikhar has been out of sorts in seven T20Is this year, and there are a lot of other batsmen capable of striking up a good alliance with Rohit at the top of the order. How long a rope the team management is willing to give him will make for interesting viewing,” VVS Laxman pointed out.
Meanwhile, India’s bowling line-up will be on young shoulders of Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed. Saini has impressed with his pace and he had a good start to his career on West Indies tour.
“On the evidence of what we saw against West Indies, Navdeep Saini is one for the future if handled carefully and given enough games. His pace is his X-factor, and he is capable of making an instant impact,” he explained.
“Deepak Chahar is a proven wicket-taker, especially in the Powerplay because of his ability to get the ball to move both ways in the air”.
India will face South Africa at Dharamshala in the first T20I today.