Ever since Hardik Pandya returned to the Indian team, much has been said and written about his bowling.
The 28-year-old suffered a serious back injury in the 2018 Asia cup. Since then, his reputation as an all-rounder remained under scrutiny until his recent success with Gujarat Titans in IPL 2022.
Ashish Nehra, the Titans’ head coach, worked on Hardik’s bowling, and the star player found his lost rhythm. He even registered his career-best figures of 3/17 in the final.
Nehra spoke about Pandya’s return to the national side and stressed that he could be India’s all-format player based on his batting skills.
Speaking to Cricbuzz, he mentioned, “We always talk about Hardik Pandya, whether he will be able to bowl or not. I think Pandya can fit into any format as a batsman, even in Test matches. But here, we are talking about T20s. So if he bowls, it will be beneficial for India”.
Nehra stressed that Hardik should be utilised as the 6th bowler, and there shouldn’t be any pressure on him to bowl his full quota.
“With India’s squad composition, they need Hardik Pandya because none of the top batters contributes in the bowling department. So Hardik is used as a fifth-bowler quite often. If he’s fit, he should bowl, no doubt. But it would be better if Hardik plays without the constant pressure of bowling four overs in every game. So you must play five bowlers and Hardik Pandya as a sixth bowler”.