The Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) took the internet by storm on Wednesday after they announced the 15-member squad for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, which will be played in UAE next month. Mumbai Indians (MI) and Team India all-rounder Hardik Pandya was also included in India’s list of the 15-man squad along with Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel as the team’s all-rounder.
Pandya was dropped from the Indian Test team after he switched his profile from being a pace-bowling all-rounder to a pure batsman. Earlier, he also didn’t bowl in the first half of IPL 2021 but made a return with the ball during India’s tour to Sri Lanka in July, where he also picked three crucial wickets.
Now the question that has been surrounding is whether Hardik Pandya will bowl as India’s third pacer or not? In a press conference, chief selector Chetan Sharma talked about Pandya’s inclusion in the T20 World Cup squad and confirmed that Hardik will bowl the full quota of his overs for India. He said:
“Hardik is fit and he will bowl the full quota of his overs. We have Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, so that was the main point, if the wickets are turning, then you have Axar and Jadeja with you,”
“Hardik Pandya is one of the leading all-rounders India have, so the main aim was to just pack the team with all-rounders,”
Indian squad for T20 WC 2021: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakaravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami
Reserved players: Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar