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My entire focus is on the ICC T20 World Cup: Hardik Pandya

By Bet Barter

June 12, 2021

Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya claims that he is entirely focusing on the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup. The 27-year-old wants to make sure that he can bowl in all the games of the T20 World Cup. The all-rounder also agreed that he is managing his workload for the ICC competition. Hardik Pandya has faced difficulties bowling ever since he underwent back surgery in 2019. Pandya has not bowled a single ball in the IPL over the past two seasons.

Hardik Pandya’s inability to bowl in all the game formats has been a massive concern for India. He is one of the few seam bowling all-rounder options that the Indian cricket team has. The all-rounder has bowled a few overs during the ODI series against England, but he couldn’t continue during the IPL.

Hardik Pandya has barely bowled since undergoing back surgery in 2019

India’s 20-man squad for the Sri Lanka series shows that the Indian selection committee does not have many options when it comes to the seam bowling all-rounders. Considering there are many options for all other positions, Hardik Pandya is the only seam-bowling all-rounder on the team. The Indian cricket team will need Hardik Pandya to return to full fitness and bowl four overs. If Pandya resumes bowling for India, it will allow Virat Kohli to take six bowling options. The T20 World Cup is the seventh edition, and it is played later this year in October-November. 

Talking about Hardik Pandya’s international career, he has played 60 ODIs, 48 T20Is, and 11 Test matches for India with a combined return of 2273 runs. The 27-year-old has also featured in 87 IPL games and amassed 1401 runs with an average of 28.86 and strike rate of 154.78. With the ball, he has scraped 155 wickets in his journey so far.

The forthcoming ICC T20 World Cup will witness 16 teams playing against each other. The decision to expand it to a 20-team tournament will primarily take place from 2024. Due to this, the participating teams may probably be divided into four groups comprising of five teams each. The sixteen teams worldwide include Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Ireland, Namibia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the West Indies.

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