'India won because of Raina, Yuvraj…': Manjrekar's timely WC warning to Hardik – Hindustan Times

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When the last time Hardik Pandya played international cricket for India, the star all-rounder didn’t complete his full quota of overs. With an economy of 10.70, Pandya leaked 32 runs and went wicketless in the T20I series decider against the West Indies. Expected to be the deputy of Rohit Sharma at the ICC World Cup in India, all-rounder Pandya had a quiet series as a bowler in the Caribbean.
With India moving on from its experimental phase, a lot will be expected from Hardik – the all-rounder, at the Asia Cup and the ICC World Cup. India have already received a big boost in the form of Jasprit Bumrah, who is set to be the face of the fast-bowling attack in the upcoming showpiece events. Can Hardik deliver the goods as an all-rounder at the grandest stage? Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar feels the bowling of the star all-rounder has become a concern in the lead-up to the ICC event.
ALSO READ: Hardik’s major ODI WC role in jeopardy after Windies humiliation as BCCI’s Bumrah stance for Ireland T20Is disclosed
Speaking to Star Sports on Follow the Blues, Manjrekar shared his views on Pandya’s crucial role in the Indian side. “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 said.
After leading the Indian side in the absence of Rohit, all-rounder Pandya had taken responsibility for Team India’s defeat to the West Indies. Pandya even struggled to play the finisher role with the willow as the star all-rounder scored 14 off 18 balls in the series decider. The Indian vice-captain scored 77 runs in the five-match T20I series against the West Indies.
Averaging 31.50, Pandya bowled 15 overs in the five-match series against the two-time world champions. Hardik’s leadership calls were also panned by his critics in the West Indies series. In the three-match One Day International (ODI) series against the same opposition, Pandya bowled 13.4 overs and picked a solitary wicket. The 29-year-old will hope to hit top gear as an all-rounder in the Asia Cup.
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