'We don't have an all-rounder of Hardik Pandya's calibre' - Aaqib Javed ahead of India vs Pakistan Asia Cup 2022 clash

This year, Hardik has scored 281 runs in 13 T20Is at a strike rate of almost 140.

Abhishek SandikarAuthor

Updated - 14 August 2022 07:18 PM

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India is set to face Pakistan in their first match of the upcoming Asia Cup on 28 August in Dubai. Both teams had met last year during the T20 World Cup at the same venue, where Pakistan registered a historic victory. It was a dominant performance by the Men in Green as India suffered their first loss to their arch-rivals at World Cup level. 

However, former Pakistan bowler Aaqib Javed believes that India has experienced batters, especially their middle-order, that could be the difference. Javed also believes that the Men in Green also lack a quality all-rounder like Hardik Pandya.

“Babar is now experienced and these cricketers have been playing together for a while. But the difference between India and Pakistan lies in the batting. Even now, their (India) batting is more experienced. If a player like Rohit plays long, he alone will take the game away.”

“The middle-order batting between India and Pakistan is where the difference lies. India's all-rounders can make a huge difference. We don't have an all-rounder of Hardik Pandya's calibre,” Javed said during a recent media interaction.

In 2022, Pandya cemented his place in the playing XI after extraordinary performances in the IPL and the recent India tours. This year, Hardik has scored 281 runs in 13 T20Is at a strike rate of almost 140.

Similarly, former India opener Aakash Chopra talked about Hardik Pandya and how in the upcoming Asia Cup 2022 he will be the most important player for the team as he is irreplaceable because of his all-around abilities.

“It’s an insurance policy (on Hardik bowling 4 overs). He is performing very well. No doubt about that. But be mindful of one thing. Hardik Pandya is the only player in that squad who is proving that balance. Without him, all the well-laid plans will fall apart.”

“Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, even Jasprit Bumrah you can manage to find a replacement for them. But if Hardik Pandya is not there you cannot make that XI. So maybe against Pakistan, he can bowl four overs, but not against teams like Afghanistan or Sri Lanka. So use him judiciously,” said Chopra.

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