You can't be relying only on Hardik anymore: Former selector wants Team India to groom 29-year-old all-rounder for Tests

Updated on Jun 28, 2021 09:27 AM IST

Former selector Sarandeep Singh believes that time has come to groom someone like Shardul for the fast bowling all-rounder's slot with Hardik not fit enough to bowl in the longest format.

Hardik Pandya: File photo(BCCI)
Hardik Pandya: File photo(BCCI)
By, New Delhi

Hardik Pandya has been the go-to allrounder for India in all formats of the game. The 25-year-old added balance to the side with his swashbuckling batting down the order and terrific bowling. India reaped the benefits of his abilities as they played an extra batsman or bowler due to his availability. However, Hardik has faced a lot of difficulties with his back in the last 2 years. After missing some time due to injury, Hardik has generally played as a batsman for both India and Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Due to troubles with his back, Pandya hasn’t returned to bowling his full quota of overs in limited-overs cricket. India have been struggling to find a replacement for him. Shardul Thakur has the ability to bat and bowl and India have tried to blood him into the set-up recently. However, he wasn’t picked for the World Test Championship final despite impressive performances against Australia and England earlier this year.

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Former selector Sarandeep Singh believes that time has come to groom someone like Shardul for the fast bowling all-rounder's slot with Hardik not fit enough to bowl in the longest format.

"You can't be relying only on Hardik anymore. You don't know when he will be fit enough to bowl in all formats so someone like Shardul needs to be groomed or even Vijay Shankar or Shivam Dube are there," Sarandeep told PTI.

Sarandeep continued to say that India should play pacer Mohammed Siraj regularly in the five-match Test series against England.

"There will be rotation in that series. It is the right time to blood in Siraj and give him as many games as you can. He is bowling well. If there is a long gap, he would find it tough to find the right length straightaway.

"A little flexibility is needed. You play your two spinners but if the conditions suit the pacers then play the extra seamer," said Sarandeep.

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