Hardik Pandya still India's best bet as an all-rounder for the future?
At best, it's debatable, but he's not done yet. Not by a long shot. The numbers: 1286 runs from 63 ODIs, 532 runs from 11 Tests, 474 runs from 48 T20Is - all at healthy strike rates of 116.9, 73.88 and 147.66, are promising. They highlight class, potential and a hint of his game-changing abilities.
Hardik Pandya is not done yet
Pandya is made from the same mould as, say, a Kieron Pollard, or a Michael Bevan perhaps. Or better yet, a Lance Klusener. He has never been your one-ball-at-a-time, or a one-run-at-a-time type. He's the one you look for when you need 25 runs off six balls, or for bowling a tight last over.
There have been issues that have plagued him. The back injury which kept him out of the game has made him rusty. Anyone who's seen his rapid rise and gradual decline knows he's still coming to grips with his game. The run has been inconsistent, and for good reason.
There have been issues that have plagued Hardik
2020 and 2021 saw Pandya in recovery mode. The numbers, while not what they were in 2018, are signs that he will get better. Against Sri Lanka, his bowling workload was managed in a way that he wouldn't bowl beyond five overs. Wickets were a bonus; all the think tank needed from him was to hit his straps.
There's no doubt that Hardik Pandya is an asset. Despite the stiff competition he faces, it's safe to speculate that he's still one of the frontrunners for the all-rounder slot in the upcoming T20 World Cup. The T20I leg of the Sri Lanka tour will be paramount as far as his bowling is concerned.
No doubt Hardik Pandya is still an asset to India
T2Os are Pandya's best format. The 41 wickets he's bagged as a fast-bowling all-rounder are better than his Baroda predecessor Irfan Pathan (28 wickets) and Jadeja (39). He's still India's most experienced and skilled all-rounder in recent times. A pacer going through an injury phase isn't novel in cricket, but the rise after is the question.