Gautam Gambhir has stated that Hardik Pandya’s inclusion in India's XI at the T20 World Cup will depend on his bowling returns in warm-up matches. Hardik didn't bowl a single over for Mumbai Indians in the recently concluded IPL, and has done little bowling ever since returning from back injury.
India team is all set to play their opening fixture of the T20 World Cup 2021 against Pakistan at Dubai International Stadium on October 24. India’s 15-member World Cup squad was updated last week, wiith Shardul Thakur replacing Axar Patel in the line-up.
Hardik Pandya, the team's premier all-rounder didn't bowl at all in the recently concuded IPL, and that does present some worries for the Virat Kohli led side ahead of their campaign. Hardik has bowled little for India, ever since having returned from a back injury.
Gautam Gambhir, believes that Pandya's inclusion in the playing XI depends on his performance in warm-up games. India will play two first warm-up matches against England and Australia on October 18 and 20 respectively.
"For me, Hardik Pandya gets into India's playing XI only if he does proper bowling in both warmup games, not only in the nets. There is a huge difference between bowling in the nets and against quality batsmen like Babar Azam and that too in the World Cup," Gambhir said on Star Sports show ‘Game Plan’.
"He has to bowl in the practice matches and the nets, and he has to bowl 100 percent. If you are thinking that you will come and bowl just at 115-120 kph, I will not take that risk," he added.