The Indian captain Virat Kohli has said that Hardik Pandya’s bowling fitness is improving everyday and he is getting to a stage where he can bowl two overs per game for the team, but the team management has still identified other bowling options, keeping in mind that Hardik Pandya, as a batsman, is more important for the side.
Hardik Pandya had bowled regularly against England earlier this year and he bowled a little bit on the Sri Lanka tour as well, but the Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma didn’t give him the ball in the recent second leg of IPL, citing his fitness issues and the allrounder didn’t bowl inkohli India’s warm up matches ahead of the T20 World Cup either.
India might have to use part-timers at some point if Hardik doesn’t bowl
The Indian team management is believed to be thinking on the lines of using a couple of part timers, if need be, in case Hardik is not fit enough to bowl during the games. They will still have 5 specialist bowlers in the XI, but if one of the 5 bowlers has a bad game, one of the part timers will have to be used.
There has been a school of thought if Hardik Pandya is not fit enough to bowl, why not pick a specialist batsman on his place and go into the games with 6 specialist batsmen, but Virat Kohli hinted that the team management considers Pandya a specialist batsman at this point and a key finisher whose batting ability is considerably vital.
“I feel Hardik presently with his physical condition is getting better to bowl at-least two overs for us. Although, we have considered two other options. We understand the value he brings as a no.6 batter and for us that is way more valuable,” Kohli said while addressing the reporters a day ahead of the India Vs Pakistan game.
Kohli, however, refused to announce the playing XI or final 12 a day before the game. He said India has a balanced squad and the XI will only be announced on the gameday.