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"It is an injustice if you keep Hardik Pandya at No.7" - Aakash Chopra

Hardik Pandya scored a blazing unbeaten 39 in the final T20I against England
Hardik Pandya scored a blazing unbeaten 39 in the final T20I against England
Kartik Iyer
Modified 22 Mar 2021

Aakash Chopra believes Team India should always send Hardik Pandya up the order in T20Is to utilize his big-hitting skills more effectively.

The junior Pandya was sent at No.4 in the series-deciding final T20I against England. He made the best use of the opportunity by blasting an unbeaten 39 off just 17 deliveries.

During a discussion on Star Sports, Aakash Chopra opined that Hardik Pandya deserves to get a longer hit in the middle when asked about the latter's promotion in the final T20I.

"It is a very simple thing. If you give the opportunity, then someone will shine. The way he was promoted in the batting order, I think this should happen every time. He was batting too low down, it is an injustice if you keep Hardik Pandya at No.7," said Aakash Chopra.

The cricketer-turned-commentator pointed out Team India could use Hardik Pandya optimally by sending him to bat whenever a wicket falls in the second half of the innings.

"Whenever a wicket falls after 10-12 overs, he should be the guy who should come out to bat. He has shown it in Australia and proved here again that there is no better striker than him in India and he is one of the best in the world as well. What is the use of the sharpness of a sword if you keep it in the scabbard," added Chopra.

Hardik Pandya was sent in to bat at No.7 for the majority of the T20I series against England, as India opted to play an additional batsman.

However, with the Virat Kohli-led side losing their second wicket only in the 14th over in the final T20I, it was an opportune time to send the swashbuckling all-rounder up the order and he did not disappoint with his blazing knock.


"It seems Hardik Pandya has come back fully fit" - Parthiv Patel

Hardik Pandya gave a decent account of himself with the ball
Hardik Pandya gave a decent account of himself with the ball

Parthiv Patel picked Hardik Pandya's bowling performances as one of the biggest gains for Team India from the T20I series.

"I feel it is a huge plus from this series the way Hardik Pandya has bowled. He executed his plans very well, used the slower ones very well. His pace was regularly above 140 kph and the way he bowled the bouncers, it seems he has come back fully fit," said Patel.

The former Indian wicket-keeper signed off by stating an all-rounder like Hardik Pandya allows the team to play an additional bowler based on the surface.

"An all-rounder changes the balance of the entire game. The way Hardik Pandya can bat from No.4 to No.6 and can give four overs, you can play an extra spinner or pacer according to the wicket. I always feel if you have an all-rounder who can bat well and can bowl four overs, you are playing with twelve players," concluded Patel.

Hardik Pandya had an excellent economy rate of 6.94 in the T20I series against England, second only to Bhuvneshwar Kumar across both sides.

Team India will hope he maintains his fitness and continues to dish out impactful performances, especially with the T20 World Cup scheduled later in the year.

Published 22 Mar 2021, 12:06 IST
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