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Include Hardik Pandya solely as a batter, his bowling will be bonus: Ashish Nehra

The former Indian pacer also believes that Hardik should be not added in the squad as a fifth bowler in either of the white-ball formats.

Aakash Srivastava Author

Published on - 14 July 2022 7:35 pm

The ongoing 2nd One Day International between England and India started on a positive note for visitors. After winning the toss, India invited England to bat first and while England batters were looking in good touch and had added 41-runs on board, star all-rounder Hardik Pandya provided the first breakthrough to the side by dismissing England opener Jason Roy (23 off 33).

Hardik has made a remarkable comeback to the national squad and ever since, has been pretty impressive with his all-round abilities. While Hardik was always regarded as a quality batter, his back injury which he sustained in 2019 had a significant influence on his bowling capabilities.

The Baroda cricketer was not in the scheme of things for the national squad before the 15th season of the Indian Premier League, but India’s T20 domestic tournament improved things for the all-rounder as he led debutant Gujarat Titans to its maiden IPL title.

Pandya stole the show with his all-round abilities as he picked crucial wickets and played some valiant knocks to ensure victory in a highly-competitive league. In a recent development, Gujarat Titans’ head coach Ashish Nehra has suggested the team management consider Hardik Pandya as a sixth bowler and a batting all-rounder.

The former Indian pacer also believes that Hardik should be not added to the squad as a fifth bowler in either of the white-ball formats and can make the cut solely as a batter. “Hardik can be in any white-ball team solely as a batter. And if he bowls, it will be a bonus.”

“But you can’t keep him as your fifth bowler in T20I or 50 overs,” he said.

Nehra further claimed that if the captain is looking towards Hardik as a fifth bowler, then the team will surely struggle. “He can bowl 10 overs also in 50-over cricket. But even if he gives 5-6 overs, its a huge bonus,” Nehra added.

The Hardik-Nehra duo surprised everyone in IPL 2022 as the former cricketer was the head coach of Gujarat Titans and the Indian all-rounder was trusted with a responsibility to lead the squad for the first time in the league. The two of them together created a great team atmosphere acknowledged which was acknowledged by several players in the GT camp.

As it turned out, it was one of the main reasons why they did so well in the competition and went on to emerge as the champions.

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