With India looking to strengthen their side and desperately needing a win against New Zealand, all-rounder Hardik Pandya was seen bowling in the nets on Wednesday. While he had not been bowling much, in the build-up to their ICC T20 World Cup opener against Pakistan, he did not even take the field during the second innings in the match against their arch-rivals after he received a blow on his shoulder.
However, scans showed no serious concerns and he is available for the second match against the Kiwis on October 31. It is also being reported that he will have to undergo a second fitness Test before he can also contribute the ball on Sunday. It is being learned that Hardik's net test will happen anytime on Friday after which a decision on his selection, based on the balance of the side, will be taken.
Why do people want Hardik dropped, asks Harbhajan
However, there is a section of cricket fans and experts who have backed Hardik's selection even if he is unable to bowl a single over. He stated that Hardik has a special ability to hit sixes which is useful lower down the order and could make the difference in the match.
"Why do people want Hardik dropped? Let him play as a batsman. He is blessed with the special power of hitting sixes. He can hit a six off the very first delivery. He just failed in one match. Please encourage him," Harbhajan told Mid-day on Thursday.
India should not make too many changes to their XI against New Zealand: Harbhajan
The veteran of over 100 Test matches, Bhajji, added that the Men in Blue should not look make too many changes in their XI as they have only lost one match due to poor cricket.
"I am not in favour of many changes in the team. Is there any guarantee that India will do well after making too many changes? They have played just one match. India lost the match due to poor cricket whereas Pakistan played excellent cricket. They dominated right from the first ball," he said.
Assuming that India wins their remaining matches including the one against Kiwis, India will secure a place in the final four. However, a defeat against the BlackCaps could be trouble for the Virat Kohli-led side.