Especially after the emergence of Shardul Thakur, Hardik Pandya’s Test career looks precarious. His lower back injury has made it impossible for the flamboyant Baroda all-rounder to roll his arms on a regular basis. According to cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra, Hardik’s persistent injury woes will make his return to the Test side more difficult. Hardik is not participating in India’s upcoming ODI series against South Africa.
Hardik can also be useful as a batsman for India, said the ex-Mumbai Indians (MI) cricketer. Despite Shardul’s stellar performance lately with bat and ball, Chopra didn’t write him an offer. “I think Hardik Pandya will bring a bit more balance to this team if you add a fourth fast bowler plus a proper batter. The fourth fast bowler becomes a batter more than a bowler. I believe Hardik will be slightly ahead of Shardul if he stays fit, bowls well, and plays well with the bat. Shardul is currently destroying everyone until he is fit,” Hardik stated.
Hardik will also lead the Ahmedabad-based franchise in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL). In the past, it was rumored that former Delhi Capitals (DC) skipper Shreyas Iyer would be taking up the leadership role. Hardik’s last appearance in India colors came in the recent T20 World Cup, where he managed to bowl four overs and score 69 runs.