Former India batter Aakash Chopra has pointed out the recent dip in the form of all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who has been struggling both with the bat and ball in recent months. After a mediocre 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign, Pandya faces challenges finding his rhythm in the national team, significantly ahead of the ODI World Cup. Chopra also discussed the batting position dilemma for Pandya and the competition between Shardul Thakur and Umran Malik for a spot in the playing XI.
Aakash Chopra highlighted Hardik Pandya’s dip in form, which has been relatively unnoticed. Pandya, who was influential after returning from injury in April 2022, had a lacklustre IPL season, scoring only 346 runs in 15 innings and taking three wickets. Pandya has had limited success in the ongoing ODI series against West Indies, managing only 12 runs and one wicket.
Chopra said on his YouTube channel, “Hardik Pandya’s poor form of late has gone under the radar. He did not have a great IPL. Personally, I don’t see clarity in his batting position. Shardul is well ahead of Umran Malik at this stage. But, to be fair, Umran is not getting a chance as well. He is only been given a couple of overs.”
Chopra pointed out the lack of clarity in Pandya’s batting position, which might contribute to his struggle with form. Additionally, Chopra expressed that Shardul Thakur is currently ahead of Umran Malik for a place in the playing XI. While Thakur has had opportunities, Umran Malik has only been given a few overs to showcase his skills.
“Hardik Pandya has not played cricket in June and barely some in July. Now there are talks going on about him being rested for the Ireland series. I am just wondering which direction are we headed towards. For full preparation, the entire team has to play together for as long as possible,” Chopra said.
“One minor injury, you will play IPL but not for India”: Kapil Dev’s Scathing Attack At Indian Star Player
In the absence of senior batters Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, Team India experimented by sending Sanju Samson and Axar Patel at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, in the second ODI against West Indies. However, the ploy failed as India was bundled out for 181 runs, resulting in their first ODI loss to West Indies since 2019.
There have been rumours about resting Hardik Pandya for the upcoming series against Ireland. Chopra expressed concern about the team’s direction, as Pandya has had limited cricket in June and July. For proper preparation, Chopra emphasized the need for the entire team to play together for an extended period.