T20 World Cup 2021: Aakash Chopra names Hardik Pandya’s replacement if he doesn’t bowl

Hardik Pandya | GETTY

India cricketer Hardik Pandya hasn’t been playing the all-rounder’s role lately and it’s a huge concern for the team going into the 2021 T20 World Cup. Pandya, who has been named in the Indian squad for the ICC showpiece event, didn’t bowl in the second phase of IPL 2021 for Mumbai Indians (MI).

Former India opener-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra has named a replacement for Pandya in the squad who could add value to the team as an all-rounder. Teams who have qualified for the Super 12, which begins on October 23, can make changes in their squad till October 15.

“When Hardik Pandya was picked in the 15 for the T20 World Cup, the selectors assumed he would be bowling. That’s why they named only three fast bowlers in the squad. Hardik was supposed to be used as the fourth bowler,” Chopra said in a video posted on his Youtube channel.

“I am told, I don’t know for sure, that the selectors were given a guarantee Hardik would start bowling soon. But Rohit Sharma recently confirmed that he hasn’t bowled a single ball yet. So, he’s not bowling, and his batting form is absolutely absent,” he added.

Chopra said Team India can let Shardul Thakur into the main squad. Shardul is currently named in the list of reserve players for the T20 World Cup, along with Deepak Chahar and Shreyas Iyer.

“He (Hardik) might not be in the team. Things can change radically. Six months back he was our most valuable asset. But now, it won’t be a surprise if Shardul Thakur comes in. The balance of the side has been affected because Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s form is 50:50. That leaves India with only Bumrah and Shami,” Chopra said.