In anticipation of the upcoming 2023 World Cup, former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has expressed his concerns about the all-round performance of Hardik Pandya.
According to Manjrekar, Pandya must elevate his contributions with both bat and ball to bolster India's prospects in the tournament, which is scheduled later this year.
Manjrekar's apprehensions stem from Pandya's recent performance during the West Indies tour, particularly with the ball in hand. In spin-friendly conditions, Pandya may find himself playing the role of a third pacer, demanding a substantial workload in the team's bowling department.
Additionally, he might be entrusted with the responsibility of finishing the innings for the Indian side.
India need Hardik Pandya to be at the peak of his all-round abilities
In an exclusive interview with Star Sports, Manjrekar emphasized the significance of Pandya's all-round abilities, stating, “Hardik Pandya's form is a bit of a concern. He has to do a lot of heavy work at the World Cup.”
Jasprit Bumrah strong contender to become Vice Captain of team India in ODIs alongside Hardik Pandya. (PTI). pic.twitter.com/IF88kjP1oa— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) August 19, 2023
“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 added.
Manjrekar urges Yuzvendra Chahal to regain his wicket-taking prowess
Furthermore, Manjrekar offered insights into the importance of Yuzvendra Chahal's bowling form. With Ravindra Jadeja expected to focus on containing runs, Manjrekar urged Chahal to reclaim his wicket-taking prowess alongside Kuldeep Yadav.
Manjrekar stressed, “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.”
As anticipation builds for the forthcoming Asia Cup, scheduled for Monday, August 21, India's cricket fans eagerly await the squad announcement.
The tournament, set to take place in Sri Lanka, will be closely watched to see which combinations the Men in Blue opt for as they gear up for the 2023 World Cup.
With the 2023 World Cup on the horizon, the onus is on Hardik Pandya to amplify his contributions as an all-rounder.
Manjrekar's concerns regarding Pandya's recent form and the need for wickets from bowlers like Chahal underscore the importance of balanced performances in the quest for cricketing glory.
India's squad announcement for the Asia Cup promises to be a pivotal moment in the team's preparations for the cricketing spectacle later this year.