Gautam Gambhir sees Hardik Pandya’s selection in India's T20 World Cup squad as a huge surprise, considering the all-rounder hasn’t bowled for Mumbai Indians at the ongoing IPL 2021. Hardik hasn't had the best of seasons with the bat either, having managed just 117 runs at 14.62 from 10 innings.
Hardik Pandya hasn't bowled in the IPL for the last two seasons, and his fitness in recent years have been a subject of concern for the Indian team. The all-rounder had bowled just 16 overs during India's limited-overs series in Sri Lanka in July, and the lack of bowling fitness debates over his selection at the T20 World Cup, with Saba Karim raising his concerns over the imbalance it could create within the playing XI.
Hardik hasn't had the best of seasons with the bat either, having managed scores of 13, 15, 7, 0, 1, 16, 3, 40*, 17, 5* in his first 10 outings at IPL 2021.
Gautam Gambhir, the former India opener, termed Hardik as a ‘one-format’ player and questioned the selectors for picking the 27-year-old for the T20 World Cup, despite the lack of match practice.
“The biggest upset in this batting lineup is Hardik Pandya. He hasn’t played any cricket, he is just a one-format player for me now. He only plays white-ball cricket and hasn’t delivered this year and he’s got into the T20 World Cup side when he hasn’t bowled either. So that’s a huge surprise,” Gambhir said on ESPNcricinfo.
“Selectors will probably have to answer this whether he’s actually going to bowl four overs in the World Cup and if he decides to do that, does he have those overs under him? If he decides to bowl in the World Cup he has to start bowling from now on, Whether it’s one or two overs per game so that he can… deliver during the World Cup where India will be looking to win.”