Team India will aim to end their decade-long draught of ICC trophies when they begin their campaign at the upcoming 50-over World Cup, starting October 5.
As the showpiece event is being held in India, the expectations from Rohit Sharma and company will be very high and meanwhile, fans will also look up to Hardik Pandya – the all-rounder – who is likely to be the vice-captain of the team.
However, Pandya’s current form in white-ball games has been a matter of concern, especially after the just-held West Indies tour. Pandya led the team in two ODIs and five T20Is. While some of his on-field decisions raised several eyebrows, his average performance – with both bat and ball – was also a matter of worry.
Notably, Pandya had managed scores of just 5, 7 and a 70 not out in three 50-over games with just one wicket and ended the T20Is with just 77 runs. His highest score was just 24 and could bag just four 4 wickets.
Moreover, the all-rounder also remained wicketless in the last three games of the five-match series.
Commenting on the dip in the all-rounder’s form, former India batter Sanjay Manjrekar reckoned that Pandya has a massive role to play in the upcoming showpiece event however, his current bowling form is a bit of a concern in the lead-up to the ICC event.
“Hardik Pandya’s form is a little bit of concern, his bowling because you will have to do a lot of physical work in the world Cup because you need him as the all-rounder not just a batter so at least 6-7 over per innings is what is expected from him. When India won the world cup in 2011, it was because of people like Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh pure batters who bowled a bit, so Hardik Pandya’s bowling is very important,” Manjrekar told Star Sports.
- Notably, India suffered a 3-2 series defeat against the West Indies in the T20IS; their first-ever in a 5-match series.