Saba Karim feels that if Hardik Pandya does not bowl in the T20 World Cup, it will create an imbalance in the Indian team. He further added that the all-rounder's current form could be a major concern for the 2007 champions ahead of the tournament in UAE and Oman, beginning October 17.
Hardik Pandya has not bowled a single over for Mumbai Indians in the second leg of IPL 2021, which does raise a few concerns ahead of India's 2021 T20 World Cup campaign. Chetan Sharma, the India chief selector had confirmed last month that Hardik is fully fit to bowl at the multi-nation tournament, after the all-rounder had bowled just 16 overs during India's limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka in July.
Saba Karim, the former India cricketer, stated that Hardik Pandya was selected to the T20 World Cup squad to perform the role of a sixth bowler, and if he does not bowl, it will bring imbalance in the playing XI.
“Hardik Pandya has been selected in the T20 WC squad to perform the role of a sixth bowler. Hardik not bowling will create an imbalance in the Indian team just as it has created issues for the Mumbai Indians. If he bowls even 2-3 overs in the remaining couple of matches then it will augur well for Team India,” said Saba Karim while speaking with YouTube channel ‘Khelneeti’
The 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup includes six members from the Mumbai Indians (MI) team - Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav, Rahul Chahar, and Ishan Kishan. Suryakumar and Kishan haven't quite got significant scores in IPL 2021, as they did in 2020 and with Rahul Chahar too not being among the wickets, it does raise a concern for India ahead of the marquee event.
“I was hoping that MI players who have been selected in the Indian team will perform and carry their form in the T20 World Cup. Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to do that. But they have few matches to get back in touch but at this point in time their form is cause of concern for India,” Karim added.
India will begin their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan in a Group 2 Super-12 fixture on October 24 in Dubai.