'One year I didn't bowl, it became a topic': Hardik Pandya unfiltered in reply to Ravi Shastri over T20 World Cup chat | Crickit

'One year I didn't bowl, it became a topic': Hardik Pandya unfiltered in reply to Ravi Shastri over T20 World Cup chat

Jun 24, 2024 06:09 AM IST

Hardik Pandya spoke in detail about his bowling, and made a rather interesting remark as he continues to be one of the side's top performers in the T20 WC.

India has been unstoppable in the T20 World Cup so far, dominating their group with wins over Ireland, the United States, and Pakistan. The match against Canada in Lauderhill was washed out, but in the Super Eight stage, Rohit Sharma’s team secured emphatic victories against Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Although their semi-final berth isn't assured yet, India's consistent performances have drawn widespread praise from fans and experts alike.

Hardik Pandya (R) talks to Ravi Shastri(ICC)
Hardik Pandya (R) talks to Ravi Shastri(ICC)

A standout for India in this tournament has been all-rounder Hardik Pandya. Despite a lacklustre IPL season, where the Mumbai Indians finished last, and Hardik struggled to find form, he has excelled in the World Cup.

In five innings, Hardik took eight wickets and delivered a crucial inning against Bangladesh on Saturday. His unbeaten 50 off just 27 balls helped India reach a strong total of 196/5. India ultimately triumphed with a commanding 50-run win, and Hardik’s all-round brilliance earned him the Player of the Match award.

Ever since his comeback to the game following a long injury layoff after the 2021 T20 World Cup, there were significant question marks over Hardik's bowling. The all-rounder did choose to not bowl on multiple occasions during his captaincy stint with Gujarat Titans, giving an impression that he might not be comfortable with rolling his arms due to potential fitness issues.

However, in the ongoing T20 World Cup, Hardik has bowled out his four-over quota on a consistent basis, and former India head coach Ravi Shastri asked the all-rounder on his consistently impressive bowling performances. Shastri reminded Hardik that there were occasions on which there were concerns over his bowling, to which Hardik had a rather straightforward answer.

“One year I didn't bowl, otherwise, I've bowled for every team. It has become much of a topic of Hardik Pandya's bowling,” Hardik said in a video posted by ICC.

“There's a lot of hard work that I need to do to fire on all cylinders. It gives me extra opportunity to contribute to the team and lifts my confidence. If I'm bowling well, it transfers to my batting and vice-versa,” said Hardik further.

Hardik bowled consistently for Mumbai Indians in the IPL this year, too, and will be key as India meet Australia in a crucial T20 World Cup clash on Monday.

All to play for

While India sit comfortably on top with a NRR of over 2, the side would aim at ending the Super Eight campaign with a win against Australia to retain the spot. With a victory over Mitchell Marsh's men, India can eliminate Australia, too, bringing an early curtain to their campaign after the side stunningly lost to Afghanistan on Saturday.

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