A source close to Times of India has revealed that the Indian selection committee, led by Sunil Joshi, were not convinced of sending Hardik Pandya because he was not bowling. The source has also added that right now Hardik has made himself indispensable.
Hardik Pandya was one of India’s biggest positives with the bat against Australia, with the all-rounder claiming “the best finisher in the world” tag from many fans and experts alike. His brutal batting display, that made many believe that the frontal assault could be a weapon for future but as it is revealed by a source tracking development in the BCCI that Pandya was not an automatic pick for the tour because of his injury.
"The selectors, at least some, believed he can't go because he can't bowl. It was a surprise they didn't see the kind of batting form he was in. It took some convincing to have Pandya included because if it was left to certain individuals, he was unlikely to go," a source told Times of India.
Pandya confirmed his position as a pure batsman with a regular attack in the ODI series while playing two match-winning knocks in the T20Is that helped India secure the bragging rights yet again.
"These are the kind of decisions that show if one is capable of looking at the bigger picture. Right now, whether he can bowl or not, Hardik is indispensable in the white-ball format. Between now and the T20 World Cup, these kinds of selection decisions will be very crucial," sources added.
Apart from Pandya, Natarajan was the other impressive player and looking at the way he bowled in the last ODI and the subsequent T20I series, it was unbelievable, to say the least. However, he was not slated to make his debut in Australia this time around as he was only a net bowler but later was drafted in as a replacement player into the squad. The official shared his bewilderment over the exclusion.
"It was absolutely clear he would play the T20s after what they saw in the nets. The wicket of Mitchell Starc in the first game (T20) cleared whatever little doubt there was. But Natarajan's ability to bowl yorkers at will was so astonishing that there is no doubt he should've been part of the T20 squad. Not just a net bowler. In the end, he got what he was deserving of."