“What If Hardik Pandya Doesn’t Bowl?” Ashish Nehra Answers The Burning Question

Gujarat Titans head coach Ashish Nehra has thrown his weight behind Hardik Pandya ahead of the cricketer’s maiden captaincy stint in the IPL.

Pandya had been released by his only franchise until last year, Mumbai Indians, and was roped in by Gujarat for 15 crore and being put at the helm of the new team.

However, Hardik Pandya hasn’t played any high-level cricket since the T20 World Cup as he continues rehabilitation for a long-standing back injury that has forced him to not bowl more than a few overs in the past two years.

Since the IPL 2020, Hardik has been playing for MI as a pure batter and has barely rolled his arm over with the ball for the national side. Hence, he has taken time off from cricket – skipping the entire domestic season as well – to focus on his fitness, and being fit to bowl when the IPL comes around.

Ashish Nehra, the Titans’ head coach, said that he isn’t much worried even if Hardik doesn’t bowl in the upcoming season, and, he believes, Hardik is good enough to get into the eleven purely on his batting ability.

“If he bowls, it’s great. But to be very honest, we are more than happy to have Hardik Pandya as a pure batsman. I don’t see any T20 team in the world, not talking just about the IPL, where Hardik doesn’t fit as a batsman. Whatever number he bats, be it 4 or 5 or 6,” Nehra said while speaking to India Today.

“Yes, there is always speculation around his bowling. If he can bowl for Gujarat Titans, that will be great. But yes, if he is only batting fit, I will be happy with Hardik Pandya,” Nehra added.

Pandya has recently decided to skip the upcoming Ranji Trophy in order to focus on his comeback in white-ball cricket.

Gujarat Titans squad: Shubman Gill, Jason Roy, Wriddhiman Saha, Abhinav Manohar, Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya, Rahul Tewatia, Dominic Drakes, Rashid Khan, Mohammed Shami, Lockie Ferguson, Yash Dayal, Jayant Yadav, R Sai Kishore, Noor Ahmad, Alzarri Joseph, Pradeep Sangwan, Varun Aaron, David Miller, Matthew Wade, Gurkeerat Singh, B Sai Sudharshan.

Also Read: Shreyas Iyers Gives His First Reaction After Getting KKR’s Captaincy

Jatin Khandelwal

Hi, I am Jatin Khandelwal. Cricket writing came accidentally for me with an undergrad engineering degree. With opportunities first as a freelancer and then full-time, and experience with time, I have grown in the role. The Cricket Lounge is a place where I can thrive with the best of my abilities.

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