“If Hardik’s fit, he should bowl, no doubt”, Ashish Nehra Advice Team India

14
Ashish Nehra
Ashish Nehra

Former Indian cricketer Ashish Nehra who coached IPL 2022 winning team has spoken in detail about Hardik Pandya as he makes his return to the Indian cricket team in South Africa T20Is.

Ashish Nehra Advice Team India

The upcoming South African series sees a return of India’s star wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik, as well as all-rounder Hardik Pandya in the shortest format.

Pandya had last appeared for India in the T20 World Cup last year and has since been away from the action due to injury. However, the 28-year-old made a blistering return to form in the 2022 Indian Premier League, where he led the Gujarat Titans to the title win.

“We always talk about Hardik Pandya, whether he will be able to bowl or not. See, what I think is that Pandya can fit into any format as a batsman; even in Test matches. But here, we are talking about T20s. If he bowls, it will obviously be beneficial for India,” Nehra said.

The former Indian bowler further suggested to Team India that Hardik Pandya should be used as a sixth bowler and that there shouldn’t be pressure on him to bowl out his four-over quota.

“With India’s squad composition, they need Hardik Pandya because none of their top-order batters bowl. Hardik is used as a fifth-bowler quite often. If he’s fit, he should bowl, no doubt. But it would be better if Hardik plays without the constant pressure of bowling four overs every game. You have to play five bowlers and Hardik Pandya as a sixth bowler,” said Nehra.

“See, I’m not saying Hardik can’t be the fifth bowler. With his skills, he can be your second or third bowler as well. But he has recently returned from injury, and has played the entire IPL, so it would be better if you build him up slowly.”

In the first ODI of the 5-match T20I series, South Africa won the toss and choose to bowl first. India after missing KL Rahul named Rishabh Pant as their captain and Hardik Pandya as their vice-captain.