Sanjay Manjrekar Made A Big Statement On Hardik Pandya

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Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar strongly feels that Hardik Pandya is not yet good enough to do the job of a third frontline seamer on a consistent basis.

After a match-winning all-round performance in the first match against Pakistan, Hardik Pandya now has had two back-to-back poor outings in the Asia Cup 2022 – against Pakistan he was smashed for 44 runs for 1 wicket; then against Sri Lanka, he leaked 35 runs with no success.

Hardik has had to take extra bowling burden in these two games because of the absence of the injured Ravindra Jadeja, and Deepak Hooda wasn’t given any over. India lost to Pakistan and Sri Lanka in both their Super 4 matches and have one foot out of the door.

Management should learn about Hardik Pandya’s shortcomings as a bowler

In these two matches, Hardik was the third pacer after Bhuvneshwar and Arshdeep and could neither control runs nor make breakthroughs, being a factor in India failing to defend 181 and 173.

Hardik Pandya
Image Source – Hindustan Times

Sanjay Manjrekar issues a stern warning in this regard, stating that Hardik can be an excellent 4th seamer but not third in the line.

“I think there were important lessons that came through last night and you could see Rohit Sharma on the field was pretty animated. I think they’ve made some important notes. One thing that came through for me and I’m sure for the team management as well is that if you at some point in time want to play just three medium pacers, Hardik Pandya cannot be one of the three,” Sanjay Manjrekar told Sports18.

“Hardik is great when he knows that he is the 4th seamer, and he can afford to have an off day and somebody else will come and take over like Jadeja could bowl a couple of overs and Hardik Pandya, if he’s not bowling well, not getting wickets, could be happy with two. So that is one issue that came out.”

Rohit Sharma concedes failure of three-seamer strategy

After the defeat to Sri Lanka, even India skipper Rohit Sharma admitted India are better bowling unit with four seamers than three, but he revealed that Avesh Khan has been ill and couldn’t pass the fitness tests, so he wasn’t picked.

“Unfortunately Avesh hasn’t turned up well in the fitness tests. He didn’t respond well because he was quite sick. Ideally the combination we would play is four seamers, but three seamers was something we wanted to try before the World Cup. We need to find answers as a team, like where we are with five bowlers. We know now where we stand with this combination,” Sharma said.

Have India been knocked out of the final race? Not yet, but almost. For India to reach the final, Pakistan will have to lose both their remaining matches – to Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, while India will need to beat Afghanistan, and have a better net run rate than Pakistan and Afghanistan. India will be knocked out if Pakistan win either of their two left matches.