File photo of Aakash Chopra© Twitter
Former India batter Aakash Chopra spoke about Hardik Pandya as being one player India cannot replace as he brings the balance that the team needs, with his abilities with both bat and ball. Chopra spoke about the need to be careful with how India use Hardik, to ensure he does not injure himself. Hardik has been in terrific form since IPL 2022, where he led Gujarat Titans to the title on debut, and his return to the Indian team. He has started to bowl regularly again, and has on occasion, bowled his full quota of four overs in matches.
“It’s an insurance policy,” Chopra said about Hardik bowling all four overs on Star Sports after India’s squad for the upcoming Asia Cup was announced.
“He is performing very well. No doubt about that. But be mindful of one thing. Hardik Pandya is the only player in that squad who is providing that balance,” he warned.
“Without him, all the well-laid plans will fall apart,” he said. “Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, even Jasprit Bumrah you can manage to find a replacement for them. But if Hardik Pandya is not there you cannot make that XI.”
Chopra said that while Hardik may be given all four overs in crucial matches, he should be carefully handled in matches against some opponents.
“So maybe against Pakistan he can bowl four overs, but not against teams like Afghanistan or Sri Lanka,” he said.
The Asia Cup gets underway on August 27. India’s campaign in the tournament will start off with a match against arch-rivals Pakistan on August 28.
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