MSK Prasad, the former Indian chief selector has clearly said that if Hardik Pandya is fit to bowl then only he should be given place in the team. Otherwise, Ravindra Jadeja will play in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in his opinion.
Hardik Pandya sustained a stress fracture back in 2019 and got surgery for the same. Since then he has played few games in which he had bowled for Team India. But, there are still doubts if he can consistently bowl in a 5-day game. Also, he was not used by Mumbai Indians as a bowler in the IPL 2021.
MSK Prasad Opens Up On Hardik Pandya Situation Ahead Of World Test Championship Final
MSK Prasad said that he feels Hardik Pandya was not given the ball previously because he might be preserved for the World Test Championship final and England Test series. As per him, if he is fit to bowl then he should be picked in the side for the final. Otherwise, Ravindra Jadeja as an all-rounder.
“I have a feeling that they actually asked him not to bowl so that he can play the Test series against England. Maybe they’re preserving him for the WTC final and England Test series. No way he can find a place as a pure batsman when you have Vihari and the other middle-order guys in the squad.” MSK Prasad said as quoted by Sportskeeda.
“If at all he’s fit to bowl, only then he should be picked. If he can’t bowl, he shouldn’t be picked – as simple as that. He should be in the squad only if he’s bowling, he will add balance to the side as an all-rounder. He will be a big asset to the side if he bowls those 12-15 overs in a day. That’s what he did in Nottingham in 2018 when he picked a five-wicket haul.” he added
“If you’re talking about the main squad, I don’t think Prithvi Shaw will make it. Because you have four set openers – Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, and KL Rahul as a backup opener. But if you’re taking India A players, he [Shaw] will obviously find a place.” MSK said.
If Hardik is fit to bowl and there are seaming conditions, then Hardik will play instead of Jadeja. If the team management wants to play Shardul Thakur, then only one of the spinners will find a place. And Shardul is an added strength with the bat as well.” the former chief selector concluded.