Chopra commenced by pointing out that the all-rounder is becoming the most prized asset of the Indian limited-overs team. He will soon be ahead of the star players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah. He also added that the all-rounder would have an essential role in the T20 World Cup next year.
The commentator added that India could not rely only on their top three batsmen. The side would need players to finish games after the retirement of MS Dhoni from international cricket. The Surat-born has proliferated in the current role and has shown the ability to adjust his game according to the demands of the situation.
The 43-year-old gave the example of Pandya's great knock in the second T20I against Australia. Pandya proved that he could perform the role that only MS Dhoni was able to do in the recent past. Aakash Chopra opines that India should bat Hardik Pandya at the No. 5 spots in ODIs to make the best use of his capabilities.
Aakash Chopra on Hardik Pandya's importance as a bowler
Regarding Pandya's bowling, Aakash Chopra stressed that India's search for all-rounders has proved futile over the years. The former Test opener also pointed out that India does not have any other quality all-rounders. The team has to manage with just the five bowlers in the playing XI. Pandya can solve that problem for Indians by playing the dual role of a No. 5 batsmen and the sixth bowler.
Aakash Chopra concluded by saying that the all-rounder is gradually becoming India's most crucial player in limited-overs cricket due to his all-round prowess. India's team management is waiting for the all-rounder to get back to fitness at the earliest. His contribution with the ball would lend the much-needed balance to the unit.