File photo of Aakash Chopra© Twitter
Former Indian batter Aakash Chopra spoke of Hardik Pandya as a player who cannot replace India as he brings the balance the team needs with his skills with both bat and ball. Chopra spoke of the need to be careful about how India uses Hardik, to make sure he doesn’t injure himself. Hardik has been in great shape since IPL 2022 where he led Gujarat Titans to the title on his debut and his return to the Indian team. He has returned to bowling regularly and has occasionally thrown his full quota of four overs in matches.
“It’s an insurance policy,” Chopra said of Hardik bowling all four overs on Star Sports after India’s roster for the upcoming Asian Cup was announced.
“He is performing very well. There is no doubt about that. But pay attention to one thing. Hardik Pandya is the only player in that squad who provides that balance,” he warned.
“Without him, all well-prepared plans will fall apart,” he said. “Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, even Jasprit Bumrah, you can find a replacement for them. But if Hardik Pandya is not there, you cannot make that XI.”
Chopra said that while Hardik can get all four overs in crucial matches, he must be treated with caution in matches against some opponents.
“So maybe he can bowl four overs against Pakistan, but not against teams like Afghanistan or Sri Lanka,” he said.
The Asian Cup starts on August 27. India’s campaign in the tournament kicks off on August 28 with a game against arch-rival Pakistan.
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