T20 World Cup 2021: Hardik Pandya to play the role of a finisher for Indian team- Report

Hardik Pandya | Getty

After the Indian team management assessing all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s back injury, it has been decided that he will primarily be a finisher going into the T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE and Oman, sources stated.

Team India sources told ANI that Hardik is still not 100% fit to bowl his quota of overs, but his experience when it comes to absorbing pressure and finishing games with the bat cannot be overlooked going into a showpiece event.

“He is not a 100 percent when it comes to bowling so it will be a finisher’s role for Hardik in this World Cup. We will keep assessing him as we progress, but at present, the team will look at him as a batsman who comes in and looks to play the finisher’s role just like MS Dhoni did over the years,” the source pointed.

Asked if the bowling part is a complete no, the source said: “With someone like Hardik, you know the level of dedication and effort is always 100 percent. So, we will keep working on his bowling.”

The BCCI All-India Senior Selection Committee after a discussion with the team management on Wednesday added Shardul Thakur to the main squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup. Akshar Patel, who was originally named in the main squad was moved to the reserve players list.

India will open its T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai.

India’s squad for ICC T20 World Cup 2021:

Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, R Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami.

Stand-by players: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Akshar Patel.