It was not a long time back when team India was looking for a player to replace Hardik Pandya in the squad. Players like Venkatesh Iyer were given a shot, but ever since his grand return to the Indian Premier League, Hardik proved why he is considered one of the best all-rounders in white-ball cricket.
Against Pakistan, the 28-year-old first picked three crucial wickets of Mohammad Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed and Khusdil Shah and then went on to play a match-defining knock of 33 from just 17 balls under tremendous pressure. After Pandya’s match-winning show, former Indian batter Wasim Jaffer explained how invaluable Hardik is in this Indian team.
“He is a great player and also is in tremendous form. It’s good to see him bat and bowl like the way he does. He’s playing an important role and he is an invaluable player in this Indian team,” Jaffer said on BatBricks7 Presents ‘Run Ki Runneeti’ show on CricTracker
With Hardik bowling well, India can play a seamer less in the coming matches: Wasim Jaffer
Jaffer feels that the Indian team can come up with a different tactic in the coming matches by dropping Avesh Khan for Ravi Bishnoi or playing an extra batter in the middle order.
“I think it is because of Hardik’s contribution, India can afford to play without a premium bowler. I think India can play a lesser seamer in the coming matches (sic). Maybe the team can drop Avesh Khan and play Deepak Hooda to strengthen the middle order or can go with Ravi Bishnoi, considering the big ground [dimensions] in mind. You will only get this option when Hardik is bowling,” said Jaffer.
With his brilliant performance against Pakistan, Pandya was adjudged as the Player of the Match. India will next face Hong Kong on August 31 in the 2022 Asia Cup.