Wasim Jaffer bashes Hardik Pandya’s ‘rusty’ batting following West Indies series loss

Former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer didn't hold back in expressing his opinion about Hardik Pandya‘s performance, following India's loss to West Indies in the five-match T20I series.

Jaffer bluntly criticized Pandya's batting display during the West Indies tour, deeming it as ‘rusty,' as Pandya managed to accumulate just 77 runs throughout the series, with a strike rate of 110.

Romario Shepherd's sensational bowling performance set the stage for a remarkable batting showcase by Brandon King and Nicholas Pooran, leading West Indies to an impressive 8-wicket victory over India in the fifth and ultimate match played at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground.

This triumph secured West Indies' series win by a margin of 3-2, marking their first T20I series victory against India in six years.

Hardik Pandya has owned up to his mistakes after India's defeat in the T20I series decider against West Indies. The Indian captain acknowledged that he missed an opportunity with the bat and didn't execute the game plan as intended.

He took the crease at the 11th over of India's innings, scoring a modest 14 runs from 18 deliveries. His only six came after facing 16 balls, and India finished their innings at 165 for 9 within the allotted 20 overs.

West Indies successfully chased down the target with eight wickets in hand and two overs to spare.

The dismal performance of the Indian players, particularly captain Hardik Pandya, in the series decider, has led to significant backlash from fans and former Indian cricketers. 

What did Wasim Jaffer say about Hardik Pandya’s batting?

Wasim Jaffer bashes Hardik Pandya’s ‘rusty’ batting following West Indies series loss
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During an ESPNcricinfo conversation, Wasim Jaffer, who played 31 Tests for India, brought up the observation that Pandya's form seemed subpar and could present difficulties for his team. 

“Well, it has been a concern. He looks little rusty. We can't say that the free-flowing Hardik Pandya who comes in and strikes it sweetly. Doesn't mean hitting sixes but striking it nicely, rotating the strike. Apart from the fifty he scored in the 3rd ODI, where also he started very very slowly, and picked it up in the slog overs. But even then he looked a little rusty,” he said.

“That's a concern for me. Looking at how Hardik Pandya batted in the series, that was a big concern. Not everytime he is going to start slowly, and he is going to finish strongly. We could see this during this series as well. As soon as he comes, the momentum drops down, the strike-rate comes down, and puts the pressure on the other guys and the dugout as well. Something for him to worry, take note and improve,” he continued. 

Hardik Pandya’s dip in form will give headaches to BCCI selectors as India are yet to announce their Asia Cup 2023 squad.

Regardless of his recent poor performances, Pandya is still expected to make the squad as an all-rounder. The Men in Blue, however, will hope that Pandya gets back to his best when India lock horns with Pakistan in their Asia Cup opener on September 2. 

Jish BJish B

Born to a cricket-crazy father and a writer mother, Jish combined his parents' passions to fuel his own dreams of being a sports journalist. If it's got a scoring system and needs to be written about, chances are this guy has written about it.