Former Indian cricketer and commentator Aakash Chopra reckoned that the men in blue need to surround themselves with cricketers, especially batsmen, who can play different roles and different positions. He said that Hardik Pandya alone cannot win team India matches all the time.
The sensational Indian all–rounder was the man of the match for his impeccable effort in the T20I series. During the T20I series, he hammered 78 runs in three matches at a strike rate of 156, including a scintillating 42 not out off 22 balls as team India won the second T20I at Sydney.
Pandya was exceptionally well in both the ODI and T20I series that cricket experts and critics wondered why he wasn’t retained for the upcoming four-match Test series against Australia. However, Pandya couldn’t get the job done and the team eventually lost the game.
Thus, Aakash Chopra feels that India needs another player who can support Pandya just like how Yuvraj Singh supported MS Dhoni. Talking about the same on Cricbuzz, Aakash Chopra said:
“If you look at India’s golden period in white-ball cricket, MS Dhoni had Yuvraj Singh with him. There is no better finisher in the world better than Dhoni, but he too needed someone. You cannot be a finisher all by yourself. And if you have just one – Hardik Pandya the finisher, then roles and responsibilities change a lot,”
Furthermore, Aakash Chopra also cleared that the other batsmen should be someone apart from the current Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who he said is good at playing an anchor role. He said:
“As far as Virat Kohli is concerned, if you have five-six batsmen in the team, each one has a different role. Playing anchor suits Kohli the best and I don’t think anyone else in world cricket plays that role better than him,”
“Take any format for example – ODIs and T20Is. It’s just that he needs to find players around him who can perform other roles. He has never scored at 170, never has never will. So don’t consider him Usain Bolt, who will run away with big shots.”