Former India batter Aakash Chopra has spoken about all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s recent slump in batting form and how it could have an impact on the balance and performance of the Indian team in limited overs cricket. Pandya, who captains the Gujarat Titans (GT) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), did not have a memorable season this year with both bat and ball. He has also struggled to find rhythm for the Indian team in the ongoing ODI series against West Indies. Pandya looked quite sharp with bat and ball when he made a comeback from injury back in April 2022.
However, Hardik Pandya’s form has seen a sharp decline and during IPL 2023, he scored only 346 runs in 15 innings and picked up only three wickets. In the two ODI matches against the West Indies so far, he has scored just 12 runs and picked up one wicket.
Aakash Chopra addressed the concerns regarding Pandya’s batting position and also weighed in on the competition between Shardul Thakur and Umran Malik for a spot in the playing XI.
“Hardik Pandya’s poor form of late has gone under the radar. He did not have a great IPL. Personally, I don’t see clarity in his batting position. Shardul is well ahead of Umran Malik at this stage. But, to be fair, Umran is not getting a chance as well. He is only been given a couple of overs,” Aakash Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
Umran Malik’s last full 10-over spell was during the tour of Bangladesh in December 2022. The right-arm pacer too had a forgettable IPL season and has bowled only six overs across the first two ODIs in the ongoing series against the West Indies.
Aakash Chopra also addressed the rumours suggesting that Hardik Pandya might be rested for the upcoming series against Ireland and said that he was concerned with the lack of preparation ahead of the cricket world cup.
“Hardik Pandya has not played cricket in June and barely some in July. Now, there are talks going on about him being rested for the Ireland series. I am just wondering which direction are we headed towards. For full preparation, the entire team has to play together for as long as possible,” Aakash Chopra added.
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