IPL 2022: 'He'll be an automatic selection for T20 World Cup' - Gavaskar makes bold claim regarding axed India cricketer
IPL 2022: While there is plenty of time left to identify the core group of players heading into the World Cup, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has identified a player he feels can be an 'automatic pick' in the T20 WC.
The T20 World Cup is seven months away and the IPL will go a long way in determining who all make the cut for the flight to Australia. The T20 World Cup promises to be a huge tournament for India, not only because it is an ICC event and that the team hasn't won one in nearly a decade, but also because it will give Team India the opportunity to erase the scars of last year’s shambolic performance when the team failed to reach the semi-final.
This time around though, things will be different. Under a new captain in Rohit Sharma and new coach in Rahul Dravid, and a fresh bunch of players, the team is expected to make great strides in Australia and break their ICC title drought. While there is plenty of time left to identify the core group of players heading into the World Cup, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has identified a player he feels can be an 'automatic pick' in the T20 WC.
"Whether Hardik Pandya will bowl, how many overs he will bowl, will also be something which not just the Gujarat Titans, but the entire cricketing fraternity will be looking forward to. Because if he starts to bowl and bowl well, with his batting ability, make no mistake, he will become an automatic selection for the World T20," Gavaskar said on Star Sports ahead of the start of the Gujarat Titans vs Lucknow Super Giants IPL match on Monday.
Gavaskar's instincts were proven right by Hardik later in the day. The Gujarat Titans captain, whose bowling had been under the scanner since the last few months, bowled his full quota of overs, and although he did not get any wicket, Hardik constantly bowled close to the 140 kmph mark. Captaining an IPL team for the first time, Hardik also helped Gujarat Titans to their maiden win as they beat LSG by five wickets at the Wankhede Stadium.
The star of the evening was Mohammed Shami, who picked up 3/25, including the wickets of KL Rahul, Quinton de Kock and Manish Pandey to be awarded the Player of the Match. In fact, Shami dismissed Rahul off the first ball of the match with a perfect ball, that moved away just that little but nicking Rahul’s bat along the way.
"It was a great delivery. Very few bowlers get that kind of a delivery straight up. Bowlers, especially fast bowler do take a little bit of time to get rhythm and confidence about their run-up. But that first ball… did Rahul do anything wrong? Nothing, he hadn't even poked at the ball. It moved really late and took the outside edge," said Gavaskar about Shami's ball to Rahul.