“India need Hardik Pandya as an all-rounder and not just as…”: Sanjay Manjrekar Expresses Concern Over Hardik Pandya’s Form Ahead Of ODI World Cup 2023 Campaign

Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has recently voiced apprehensions regarding Hardik Pandya’s form leading to the ODI World Cup 2023. Manjrekar highlighted the importance of Pandya’s contributions with the bat and the ball, emphasizing his need to excel in both aspects if India aims to clinch the coveted title later this year. Amidst concerns about his recent performance on the West Indies tour, particularly in the bowling department, the all-rounder’s role has come under scrutiny.

Sanjay Manjrekar’s concerns stem from Hardik Pandya’s indispensable role as an all-rounder in the Indian cricket team. As a versatile player, Pandya is expected to provide crucial contributions both as a dynamic batsman and a valuable bowler. With spin-friendly conditions scheduled for specific matches, Pandya’s ability to step up as a third pacer is essential for the team’s overall strategy. Additionally, his prowess in finishing innings with the bat is crucial to India’s success in the ODI format.

Manjrekar parallels the victorious 2011 World Cup campaign, where players like Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina played pivotal roles as batters who could also bowl. This combination of talents significantly contributed to India’s triumph. Similarly, Manjrekar underscores the importance of Pandya’s multifaceted skills, highlighting that his ability to provide a substantial number of overs is vital for India’s balanced team composition.

“Hardik Pandya’s form is a bit of a concern. He has to do a lot of heavy work at the World Cup. You need him as an all-rounder and not just as a batter. So you need at least 6-7 overs per game. When India won the 2011 World Cup, it was because of people like Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina being the batters who could bowl,” Manjrekar said while speaking to Star Sports.

Manjrekar’s concerns extend to the Indian bowling lineup, particularly the spin department. With Ravindra Jadeja expected to focus on containing runs, there’s a call for spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav to seek wickets actively. Chahal’s role, in particular, is highlighted as one that needs a resurgence in the 50-overs format. The dynamics of the grounds in India make seam bowling a riskier proposition, leading to the increased reliance on spinners for wickets.

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Manjrekar stated, “Chahal needs to rise to the occasion in the 50-overs format to pick wickets along with Kuldeep Yadav because Jadeja will be the containment bowler. I think seam will be a gamble for most teams with the size and dimensions of grounds in India.”

The anticipation for India’s Asia Cup squad announcement has been building up, with fans eager to see the chosen combinations. The selectors’ decisions regarding player roles and combinations will be closely observed as the team gears up for games in Sri Lanka. The Asia Cup is a preparatory platform for India’s World Cup campaign, making the selection process even more significant.

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