Hardik Pandya has not bowled much since undergoing back surgery in October 2019. He has been selected in the Indian team for the England Test series more as a specialist batsman rather than a seam-bowling all-rounder.
While answering fan questions on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra was asked if he sees Hardik Pandya bowling in the upcoming Test series.
The former India player stated it is highly unlikely and cited Pandya’s lack of bowling in the recent past.
“Probably not. He didn’t bowl a single over in the IPL. He went to Australia and bowled just the 3-4 overs, that too in compulsion. So he is not bowling and this series is in India,” said Chopra.
An in-form Washington or the power-packed Pandya – if you could choose just one, who’d make it to the final XI vs 🏴?
(We’re so glad we don’t have to make this choice 😅) pic.twitter.com/H5IOoud5el
— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) January 27, 2021
Aakash Chopra pointed out that Team India will not need the services of Hardik Pandya as a seam-bowling all-rounder in home conditions. He added the 27-year old needs to be managed properly for the bigger challenges ahead.
“Except the pink-ball Test match, you will not need fast bowlers. We can play with two fast bowlers and three spinners. We can hundred percent do that in Chennai. So why would I try Hardik Pandya now and put so much workload on him, this is the World Cup year, I don’t want to get him injured again,” added Chopra.
Aakash Chopra highlighted that Hardik Pandya has been selected as a specialist batsman for the series against England, and might just bowl a few overs if included in the playing XI.
“I see him as a batsman and he has been selected just because of his batting. We don’t know yet whether he will get a chance or not but I don’t see him bowling a lot. If he plays, he might bowl 4-5 overs but I don’t think it is possible that he will bowl 15 overs in a day,” said Chopra
The reputed commentator signed off by stating that Hardik Pandya would have been held back in Australia for the Test series if he was fit enough to bowl. He reasoned the 27-year-old’s bowling would have been more useful in those conditions.
“If that was the case, he would have been asked to stay back in Australia because there could have been a need there and it was required as well. If they didn’t keep him there, then here I don’t think so,” concluded Aakash Chopra
Hardik Pandya is unlikely to get a game in the Test series against England unless there are injury concerns in the Indian camp. If India want to include a seam-bowling all-rounder, they will mostly play Shardul Thakur ahead of Pandya.
@BCCI @imVkohli @ajinkyarahane88 If Hardik Pandya is playing as a specialist batsman in upcoming Test series vs England, I will not play him in my playing XI. We need fully fit Hardik Pandya the allrounder for India’s tour of England in August – September 2021. @hardikpandya7
— ABHISHEK KUMAR SINGH (@abhishek151282) January 29, 2021