Gautam Gambhir feels Hardik Pandya can still make a comeback in India’s T20 team© Instagram
Despite being a part of the team for the recently concluded T20 World Cup, Hardik Pandya didn’t find a place in India’s squad for the ongoing T20I series against New Zealand due to concerns over his fitness and lack of bowling. Talking about Hardik, former India batter Gautam Gambhir wasn’t impressed with the cricket fraternity already writing off the all-rounder, who he said could still make a comeback to the T20I squad if he finds his rhythm and starts bowling regularly.
During India’s T20 World Cup squad announcement, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief selector Chetan Sharma had assured that Hardik would bowl during the tournament.
However, he did not bowl in India’s opening game against Pakistan, which left then-captain Virat Kohli with five bowlers. Though the all-rounder did bowl in the next few games, his injury and fitness concerns have prompted the team to look for an alternative option for the no. 6 spot in the shortest format.
During a conversation on Sports Tak, Gambhir remarked that the team shouldn’t count Hardik out just yet. The cricketer-turned-politician also said that the replacement player(s) should also be given a longer run so that the management can work on their strengths and weaknesses.
“You can’t find his replacement for the no. 6 spot in one day. And you cannot count out Hardik just yet. People have already started writing him off; but if he can keep himself fit and also bowl regularly, he should definitely get a chance to make his comeback as he is still young,” said Gambhir.
“Also, if you give chances to other players as well, the management should give them a longer rope. This will help them to understand their capability. If you keep on changing your team for every series, you will struggle to find a strong playing XI.
“And considering the amount of cricket we play in India, no one is invincible or indispensable in the team as there is a replacement for every player. But the players should have the backing of the board for a longer duration,” he concluded.
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