Legendary cricketer Kapil Dev has opined that all-rounder Hardik Pandya not bowling will not impact Team India’s chances at the ICC T20 World Cup. However, he added that it will affect the “combination and the options" for Virat Kohli.
Kapil’s comments came after Hardik refrained from bowling in India’s warm-up match against England, which the Men-in-Blue won on Monday.
Kohli used five full-time bowling options and they conceded 188 runs. Hardik (12* off 10 balls) played as a specialist batsman.
“An all-rounder always makes a massive difference to a team. Hardik not bowling will not impact India’s chances, but it will make a difference in terms of Kohli’s options. If an all-rounder is available for both, it enhances the captain’s ability to rotate bowlers and gives him the extra option to fall back on," Kapil Dev told Sportskeeda.
“In Hardik’s case, India should be okay given the talent in the team, but him bowling even two overs will obviously lend more flexibility. That said, I believe India does have the firepower in the team to make up for the deficiency," he added.
It is to be noted that Hardik has not bowled for India since the home series against England earlier this year. The Mumbai Indians all-rounder kept away from bowling during Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 too.