Saba Karim Doubts Whether Hardik Pandya Was Fit Before Being Selected In India's 2021 T20I World Cup Squad
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Saba Karim Doubts Whether Hardik Pandya Was Fit Before Being Selected In India’s 2021 T20I World Cup Squad

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya

Saba Karim, the former Indian selector, and former wicketkeeper is confused by the niggle that all-rounder Hardik Pandya is said to be carrying. Saba Karim finds it difficult to understand how the Baroda all-rounder Hardik Pandya was selected in India’s 15 men T20 World Cup squad if he was unfit.

The rules laid down, according to Saba Karim, state that a player has to prove his fitness at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), and only then can they get selected for the Indian team. But if an injury or niggle takes place after their selection, then doubts arise whether the aforementioned player was fit when he was selected.

Saba Karim
Saba Karim (Source: Twitter)

Saba Karim Doubts Whether Hardik Pandya Was Fit Before Being Selected In India’s 2021 T20I World Cup Squad

Speaking on the YouTube channel “Khelneeti”, Saba Karim had to say about Hardik Pandya that the rule to prove fitness applies for everyone.

“He (Hardik) is a big player. But the question now is when he was selected for the Ind team, was he fully fit or not? If he was fit then it is justified. But if not, then when did this niggle happen? If he was carrying that injury then why was he selected? The general rule is – you have to prove your fitness and go to NCA and come back. This rule applies to everyone. So, the question is right but we don’t know what has exactly happened with Pandya.”

Hardik Pandya Image Source : GETTY
Hardik Pandya Image Source: GETTY

The younger Pandya brother largely failed to hit a big knock in the first leg of IPL 2021. In 7 matches, he scored 52 runs in 6 innings averaging a pathetic 8.66. The duo of Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya missed out on the match against CSK which was played in Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

While Rohit Sharma returned in the second match against KKR, Hardik Pandya was absent as Shane Bond insists that the franchise is also looking at the needs of the Indian team when managing the workload of all-rounder Hardik Pandya. Hardik Pandya has not played both the games against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the ongoing UAE leg of IPL 2021.

Saba Karim Doesn’t Think Selectors Made A Mistake By Selecting Ishan Kishan

Players like Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav have not been able to score consistently in the IPL 2021 season so far. On being asked whether the Indian selectors made a mistake by naming them in the 15-man squad, Saba Karim said the fans need to be patient with such players.

“I don’t think the Indian selectors made a mistake my selecting Ishan Kishan. When he was scoring runs against England, we were saying his selection is right. So such a phase comes. We react too early and become judgemental. It is a huge challenge to be consistent in T20s. As cricket fans we need to stay patient with players like Ishan and Suryakumar,” Saba Karim concluded.

Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan - SPORTZPICS
Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan – SPORTZPICS

Saba Karim understands the difficulty of being consistent in the T20s and believes both Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan will come good sooner rather than later.

Ishan Kishan was the top run-getter for Mumbai Indians in the 2020 season, scoring 516 runs at an average of 57.33, and later went on to make his T20I and ODI debut where he scored the fifties. But in IPL 2021, he has only 98 runs to his name in 7 games averaging only 14 so far.

Suryakumar Yadav excelled in his role as an opener and scored over 500 runs in 2018, including four fifties. In IPL 2019, he amassed 424 runs to be MI’s second-highest run-getter. He outperformed himself in the 2020 season scoring 480 runs at a strike rate of 145 and went on to make his T20 International debut later for India. Suryakumar Yadav has so far 181 runs in 9 IPL games in IPL 2021 averaging a below-par 20.11.

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