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Hardik Pandya to play as a specialist batsman for India?

CARDIFF, WALES - JULY 06: India batsman Hardik Pandya hits out during the 2nd Vitality T20 International between England and India at Sophia Gardens on July 6, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

 

 

India are all set to tour Australia for four Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is. BCCI announced the squads on Monday which will be touring down under. The tour is set to begin with the first ODI in Sydney on November 27 though nothing is official as of yet. There have been many new and unexpected names in the Indian ODI squad. There have also been some notable omissions from the team’s last ODI series. Hardik Pandya is one of the regulars who has managed to make a comeback to the Indian ODI and T20I team. However he hasn’t bowler a single delivery in IPL 2020. Are India planning on using him as a proper batsman or is he going to be fit enough to start bowling by November? Is Hardik Pandya going to play as a specialist batsman this time around?

 

Hardik Pandya, who hasn’t played for India since September 22 last year, has been picked for the ODI series. The all-rounder had been named in the squad for the home ODI series against South Africa in March but it was called off because of growing concerns over COVID-19. Hardik Pandya has been India’s best all-rounder for quite a while now. His ability to clear the boundaries at will makes him an “X Factor” in India’s ODI team. He will be batting at 6 and play the role of an aggressor like he always does. Indian fans would hope that he would be at his best against Australia this time around. However, there’s one issue which might have an impact on India’s team combination in this series going ahead.

 

Pandya hasn’t bowled of late and he’ll mostly have to play this ODI series against Australia a proper batsman. Bowling him would be a risk as he would be without match practice and thus would mostly have to play as a proper batsman at 6. Hence India would have to play Jadeja as their fifth bowler as well as their no.7. A lot of expectations would lie on his shoulders as he would have to contribute with the ball as well as the bat. Jadeja will have to be at his best this time around.