'He can hit 12 off last 2 balls. India yet to find his replacement': Harbhajan wants star cricketer to play vs Pakistan
One of the biggest topics of curiosity remains India's Playing XI which they will feature against Pakistan during their T20 World Cup fixture in Dubai on Sunday. Pakistan have announced their squad of 12, out of which the top 11 will make it to their team, but there has been no such update from India, which has only increased speculation regarding their team combination.
The suspense surrounding India's potential line-up has former cricketers stir the pot a little as most of them have made their Predicted India XI. Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh threw light on India's composition for the match against Pakistan, saying that if it was up to him, Hardik Pandya would certainly find a place in the team.
"If I was part of the team management, I would definitely play him - probably only as a batter I surely would pick him. He has that ability that he India need 10 or 12 runs in the last 2 balls or 3 balls or 4 balls, we can rely on him. Bowling wise, yes, India may fall a bowler short but we aren't playing with half bowlers. In Jadeja, Bumrah, Shami, Chakravarthy, India have five solid bowlers," Harbhajan said on Sports Tak.
Pandya played the two warm-up matches for India but the fact that he is not bowling as much as he used to no longer makes him an automatic pick in the team. Besides, with the bat too, Pandya has had a few quiet games, including the IPL for Mumbai Indians. Having said that, Harbhajan has backed the all-rounder on the back of what he brings to the table, while adding that a replacement for the 27-year-old hasn't been discovered by India yet.
"If you want to replace Hardik, then there is no such replacement for him yet because at No. 6 or 7, we have no such option. If you ask Suryakumar Yadav, who bats at 3, to suddenly go and bat at 6 or 7, it wouldn't be possible. 8 out of 10 times he may not be able to do so. But Hardik Pandya has that chance. If he stays there, and plays 2 balls, he can send at least one of them for 6. I would rather stick with 5 bowlers and 6 batters with Pandya being a part of it," Harbhajan added.