- Feb 23, 2024
- Sep 4, 2022
Former India fast bowler Ashish Nehra held his cards close to his chest when he was quizzed about whether Hardik Pandya would be able to bowl 10 overs in an ODI game. He said that even the all-rounder may not have an answer regarding this matter.
Pandya underwent back surgery in 2019 and it has had a big impact on his bowling. Ever since fully recovering from the procedure, the Indian all-rounder hasn’t been able to bowl regularly across different formats. This made him go under the boil as a bowler across formats and he made it into the team as more of a batting all-rounder who could bowl a few overs.
Nehra, who worked closely with the 28-year-old at Gujarat Titans during IPL 2022, said in a recent media interaction, that Pandya may not himself have an answer if he will be able to complete his full quota of overs during an ODI match. However, the former Indian pacer suggested that things are on track with the Indian all-rounder.
“Even Hardik won’t be able to answer that since you can plan but things don’t always fall into place. But so far so good,” said Nehra.
Nehra hinted that Hardik could get into the makeup of any white ball team solely as a batter because he posses the finishing prowess with him and that if Hardik bowls a few overs along the way , then it is bonus. He further stressed on the fact that that Hardik should be only considered as a sixth bowling option and not as a fifth bowler.
“Hardik can be in any white ball team solely as a batter. On top of that, if he bowls it will be a bonus. But you can’t keep him as your fifth bowler in T20 or 50 overs. He can only be your sixth bowler,” said Nehra.
Nehra added that the prime focus of team India should be on building up Hardik Pandya’s fitness and although there is no doubt that the all- rounder has had a good couple of months. It remains to be seen whether Hardik will last the long haul. India have to look after him carefully as there are two World Cups to be played in two consecutive years. – The T20I World Cup and the 50 0ver World Cup, where Hardik will be a vital cog in India’s wheel.
“But looking at his fitness, you have build it up slowly. He will not be going to the West Indies for ODIs, which is good in a way. When you are an out-and-out fast bowler you don’t have a choice. You have to bowl, you have to be fit But it’s not the case with Hardik. He has been doing well during the last 2-3 months,” said Nehra.