Former India cricketer Saba Karim has questioned the BCCI selection panel’s decision to include all-rounder Hardik Pandya as he has not played a game in the second phase of the IPL 2021 due to injury. Pandya was included in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE and Oman.
Hardik Pandya's absence in the Mumbai Indians playing 11 during the second leg of the IPL has raised a few eyebrows and concerns about his fitness levels with the T20 World Cup is less than a month away. The all-rounder from Baroda didn't play against Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders owing to a niggle. While the MI team management insisted that Pandya will start playing as early as possible, Saba Karim has raised a few questions on his inclusion.
“He (Hardik) is a big player. But the question now is when he was selected for the Indian team, was he fully fit or not? If he was fit then it is justified. But if not, then when did this niggle happen? If he was carrying that injury then why was he selected? The general rule is - you have to prove your fitness and go to NCA and come back. This rule applies to everyone. So, the question is right but we don't know what has exactly happened with Pandya,” Karim said in a discussion with a YouTube channel Khelneeti, reported Hindustan Times.
The 27-year-old has been an important member of the Team India set-up in white-ball cricket and is expected to return for MI's next clash against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday, September 26. Bowling coach Shane Bond, recently stated that the management is not rushing Pandya but he is on the road to recovery.
Meanwhile, the five-time defending champions MI have gotten off to a horrendous start in the second half of the season. With two consecutive defeats against CSK and KKR, they have slipped to the sixth spot on the points table and are on the verge of finishing outside the playoffs.