Virender Sehwag: Hardik Pandya Has Ability To Make India-Pakistan Clash In T20I WC A One-Sided Affair

Hardik Pandya Has Ability To Make India-Pakistan Clash A One-Sided Affair, Says Virender Sehwag

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya

Virender Sehwag also reckoned that Team India should pick five bowlers in the game against Pakistan’s Babar Azam and Co. However, former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag said that Hardik Pandya has the ability to make India’s clash against Pakistan a “one-sided affair” if he gets going with the bat.

The veteran-backed dashing finisher, Hardik Pandya, to play the game on Sunday, October 24 in Dubai despite the latter still not sure of bowling.

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag (Image Credit: Twitter)

Virender Sehwag: Hardik Pandya Has The Ability To Make The India Pakistan Match One-Sided And Finish It

Hardik Pandya didn’t bowl a single over for the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League 2021. Hence, there have been questions on whether or not he should be playing only as a pure batsman. But Virender Sehwag said that Hardik Pandya deserves a place in the team because of his power-hitting prowess with the bat.

“He’ll be on my team. The kind of batter he is, if he clicks, he’ll make the match one-sided, and finish it. He has the ability, which he has shown many times. Yes, if he was bowling fit, that would have been the icing on the cake,” Virender Sehwag was quoted as saying.

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

Virender Sehwag also reckoned that Team India should pick five bowlers in the game against Babar Azam and Co. The Nawab of Najafgarh admitted that Hardik Pandya hasn’t quite clicked with the bat in recent times, but he selected him as his “first pick”.

“You should go with five bowlers plus if Hardik Pandya or someone else from the top-order bowls a few overs, it’ll be the perfect team for me… His batting is surely a concern. If he’s not in form or not batting well in the nets, then you can maybe see another batter, otherwise, he’ll be my first pick,” Virender Sehwag stated.

Hardik Pandya has played 49 T20Is and has averaged below 20 with the bat despite a strike rate of 145, amassing 484 runs in 49 matches. He has also taken 42 scalps averaging 26.45. As a finisher in the 2021 T20I World Cup, he would certainly look forward to amending his batting average and bowling a few overs, trying to pick crucial wickets.

Hardik Pandya Did Well Last Time In India Pakistan 2019 World Cup Clash

The last time when India locked horns with Pakistan in the 2019 World Cup, Hardik Pandya showed his class. The right-hander smashed 26 off 19 and helped the Men in Blue post a mammoth score of 336 for five on the board. Back then, Hardik Pandya also rolled his arms over for eight overs and picked up the crucial wickets of Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik.

Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez
Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez Photo: AFP

He also played well in the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy, though his efforts came in a losing cause. Hardik Pandya has refrained from bowling a lot in the last three years due to his tussle with frequent injuries.

Following his impressive debut, Hardik Pandya went on to become an integral part of MI. He has played 92 matches for the franchise and has scored 1476 runs averaging 27.33 at a strike rate of 153.91. On the bowling front, he has claimed 42 scalps averaging 31.26 at a strike rate of 20.69. Having made his international debut in 2016, Hardik Pandya has gone on to play 11 Tests, 63 ODIs, and 49 T20Is for India.

Hardik Pandya has been bothered by multiple injuries lately. The seam-bowling all-rounder did not bowl a single delivery for the Mumbai Indians (MI) during both legs of IPL 2021 and even missed a couple of games due to fitness issues. Moreover, Hardik Pandya failed to hit a big knock in the first leg of IPL 2021.
In 12 IPL 2021 matches, he scored 127 runs averaging a pathetic 14.11. However, after missing out on a lot of action owing to a back injury, Hardik Pandya had 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, where his strike rate was below 115.
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