Hardik Pandya’s captaincy may have garnered praise from all quarters but his bowling fitness has once again given rise to question marks on his all-round abilities. Former India wicketkeeper-batter Parthiv Patel said Hardik can’t be selected on the basis of bowling at 140 km/h in a few games. Parthiv said the star all-rounder needs to prove his fitness by playing a few Ranji Trophy games before he can be considered for selection in the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
“You need to a pick a fully fit player. You can’t pick a player for bowling at 140 km/h in two matches. You reach World Cup and if he gets injured then what happens? It will be India’s loss. You need to play at least a few 4-day matches and then only you can judge the fitness,” Parthiv told Cricbuzz.
Hardik, the Gujarat Titans captain, bowled at full tilt at the beginning of IPL. He was seen clocking 140km/h regularly at various stages of the innings. He bowled with the new ball and did not shy away from bowling the tough overs at the death too. But after he missed a match due to a niggle, he stopped bowling completely.
It was only in GT’s last match against Lucknow Super Giants that Hardik returned to bowling after a gap of five matches. Even in that match, he bowled only one over.
“When a bowler in excess of 140 at the start of the tournament and bowls at different phases of the innings and then suddenly one small injury stops you from bowling completely. So this will be a concern for sure but if we quote his statement, he himself had stated that he shouldn’t be considered for selection till he doesn’t contribute fully as an all-rounder. So, if he wants to make a comeback then he can only do that by becoming a complete all-rounder,” Parthiv said.
The former wicketkeeper-batter said it will be better if the selectors wait for Hardik to prove his fitness in a four-day game.
“I personally believe that if you want a player to return to the (Indian) side then you can’t do that on the basis of just the performances in the IPL. The value of domestic cricket goes down when you pick someone directly from IPL. World Cup is still 6 months away. Hopefully, till then the Ranji Trophy can start and he can play few games,” Parthiv said.
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