India’s stand-in captain for the warm-up match against Australia, Rohit Sharma, provided an update on Hardik Pandya’s fitness which has been a concern for the team. Hardik hasn’t bowled for India much in recent times and he also played for Mumbai Indians (MI) in IPL 2021 as a specialist batter.
On Wednesday (October 20), Rohit said Hardik has not yet started to bowl in the nets but he is hopeful that the all-rounder will soon start bowling and will be available any time in the Super 12s of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.
“Hardik is coming along pretty well, but it’ll be a while before he starts to bowl. He hasn’t started bowling, but he should be ready any time during the tournament. In a big tournament like this, you always want to make sure that a player is 100% fit. Hopefully, he will start bowling soon,” Rohit said at the toss.
Hardik’s lack of clarity for the bowling role made India bring Shardul Thakur into the main squad for the 2021 T20 World Cup. Shardul replaced Akshar Patel in the squad after being named in the reserve players list initially.
India will also need to find a sixth bowling option and Rohit said, “We want to make sure that we get the 6th bowling option, some options in the batting order as well, we’ll try all those things today. We have quality in the main bowlers, but you need an option for a 6th bowler.”
India’s squad: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohd Shami.
Standby players – Shreyas Iyer, Akshar Patel, Deepak Chahar.