Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra believes that Hardik Pandya needs to start bowling regularly as the team builds up to the T20 World Cup slated to be held later this year. As per Chopra, the Indian team will be better balanced if Hardik resumes bowling as he will give the side a lot of options and depth. The lack of a fast-bowling all-rounder turned out to be quite critical as India went down in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton.
Hardik Pandya has been a reluctant bowler in the recent past and barring a handful of overs against Australia and England, the all-rounder has played in teams as a specialist batsman. He did not bowl a single over in the IPL this year and the management has been keeping a close eye on his lingering shoulder and back injury. This has clamped down his ability to chip in during the middle overs.
Aakash Chopra believes that Hardik provides a lot of balance to the side since he is a fast-bowling all-rounder.
“You were looking at him for Test cricket but he is not available for you there as well because he is not bowling. When you look at it from that vantage point, there is only one player like Hardik Pandya, he provides balance. Hardik Pandya as a fast-bowling all-rounder, Ravindra Jadeja as a spinning all-rounder and Washington Sundar with them, it becomes a superb team,” he said on his YouTube channel.
Apart from Test cricket, Aakash Chopra also said that the Baroda boy could chip in with seven to eight overs on ODIs and look to complete his quota in T20s as this will give India the luxury of a perfectly balanced side.
“Six to eight (overs) and bowls his full quota in T20s, full overs in the IPL and then definitely in the World Cup because Hardik Pandya bowling makes it easier for India to get the right balance,” he added.