Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya

Virender Sehwag raises questions on the under-utilisation of Hardik Pandya as a Bowler

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Despite doing well with the bat, Hardik Pandya was not regular with the ball which surprised many.

After a convincing win in the first ODI, India lost in the second against England in the three-match ODI series. While they are currently playing the decider, all the bowlers gave away plenty of runs in the second game. And, despite having in the squad, all-rounder Hardik Pandya didn’t get a chance to bowl.

However, in the post-match press conference, captain Virat Kohli said that it was to manage the workload management of Hardik Pandya. But former India opener Virender Sehwag believed that Pandya could bowl at least 3-4 overs, like the way he did in the T20Is.

“At least to make a change, Hardik Pandya could have been given a spell of 3-4 overs. I don’t understand if he can bowl four overs in T20I cricket, then why cannot he do the same in ODI cricket,” Sehwag asked on Cricbuzz.

“If he only wants to play as a batsman, then say that he will only play as a batsman in ODI cricket, so then his performance will be assessed accordingly. Because as an allrounder you sometimes get an advantage, that if you are unable to perform with the bat on one day, then you performed with the ball,” he again shared.

“Hardik Pandya could have been given a spell of 3-4 overs” – Virender Sehwag

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya

“Or vice-versa. But if he is not going to ball, then he will only be assessed as a batsman. So, I am little disappointed that Pandya did not bowl a single over. If he is fit, he can bowl four overs in T20Is, so he could have bowled a couple of overs. If he had got a breakthrough, it would have helped the team,” he further added.

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Notably, Hardik Pandya had to undergo back surgery in 2019, and ever since his return in action, he has not bowled much even not in the last edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE. However, Sehwag also questioned Kohli’s workload management statement on the all-rounder.

“If there are no overs in Hardik Pandya’s workload, then I feel something is wrong. Kohli said that workload management is being done for all bowlers including Pandya. But it cannot be so that he does not bowl a single over. Fielding for 50 overs is also tiring, so if he bowls four-five overs in between, it would not increase the workload much. I don’t know who decides that Pandya’s workload has increased. Because since he has returned from surgery, he has not played much cricket,” Sehwag said.

“He missed the Tests. He has played 3 T20Is, in which he bowled four-six overs. The load of work has not even come on him yet since he has returned to fitness. If he was playing non-stop cricket across all formats, then I would have understood it. But he has no load on himself yet. He has only played T20Is. Maybe he might have said that he will not bowl 10 overs in ODI cricket, because if I get injured I might have to miss IPL,” the veteran concluded.

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