India would potentially be in for a knockout game against New Zealand in their next match in the T20 World Cup. Having to acquire the most in-form and accurate playing XI as the primary T20 World Cup champions would be looking to embrace themselves in the knockout stage, the selection of Hardik Pandya has always been up for speculation. The 28-year-old Indian all-rounder has not bowled since the series against Sri Lanka in July and has been immensely criticised for not taking the responsibility on multiple occasions.
As team India dearly missed an additional bowling option in their first game against Pakistan, the importance of playing a 6th bowler in the extremely humid conditions was evident quite clearly. However as India gear up to lock horns against New Zealand on October 31, Hardik was spotted rolling his arm in the nets, raising the possibility of his return as an all-rounder.
Will Hardik Pandya bowl against New Zealand?
To those who are not aware, India find themselves in a must-win game against New Zealand, who have also lost their first game against the mighty Pakistani team. One of the drawbacks found during India’s loss against Pakistan was Hardik’s inability to bowl, given that he did not bowl for the Mumbai Indians as well in the resumption of Indian Premier League this season.
While the younger Pandya brother injured his shoulder while batting against Pakistan, he went through the fitness drills on Wednesday which was included by short sprints and warming up his arm in the bowling nets. It was reported that Hardik Pandya bowled roughly about 20 minutes to Shardul Thakur and Bhuvneshwar Kumar whilst being watched by Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravi Shastri.
According to the latest update, a report carried by Cricbuzz stated that Pandya’s bowling fitness will again be assessed on Team India’s Friday’s net session. And in case he gets a green signal, he might be seen contributing with the ball as well against New Zealand.