'Don't want to get him injured again': Aakash Chopra on India star ahead of England Test series
Will Hardik Pandya get a chance to play in England Tests? And if he does, will he be joining the likes of Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah while bowling?
Well, these are some of the questions which are popping up ever since the Indian squad for the first two Tests against England was announced. With a bunch of match-winners in the camp, team selection is going to be a tough nut to crack but as far as Hardik’s case is concerned, it will be interesting to see how the management deals with him.
Hardik hasn’t bowled much since he underwent back surgery in 2019. He didn’t bowl at all in the IPL 2020 but delivered a couple of over in the limited-overs series Down Under.
Speaking of the same, former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has stated that Hardik’s chances of bowling against England are highly unlikely. Answering a fan’s question on his YouTube channel, Chopra said, “Probably not. He didn't bowl a single over in the IPL. He went to Australia and bowled just the 3-4 overs, that too in compulsion. So, he is not bowling and this series is in India.”
The cricketer-turned-commentator was of the opinion that India might not need Hardik as a bowler in home conditions. He suggested the latter needs to be managed properly for the upcoming challenges.
“Except for the pink-ball Test match, you will not need fast bowlers. We can play with two fast bowlers and three spinners. We can a hundred percent do that in Chennai. So why would I try Hardik Pandya now and put so much workload on him, this is the World Cup year, I don't want to get him injured again,” added Chopra.
Speaking of his chance to make it to the Playing XI, Chopra said, “I see him as a batsman and he has been selected just because of his batting. We don't know yet whether he will get a chance or not but I don't see him bowling a lot. If he plays, he might bowl 4-5 overs but I don't think it is possible that he will bowl 15 overs in a day.”
“If that was the case, he would have been asked to stay back in Australia because there could have been a need there and it was required as well. If they didn't keep him there, then here I don't think so,” Chopra concluded.