Hardik Pandya’s inclusion in the Indian team gave a lot of balance to the side in limited overs cricket. It was really a blessing as Pandya quickly became the bridge between batting and bowling.
These days, he has improved his bowling in the limited-overs as well and is bowling his full quota of 10 overs which was not the case earlier. He is a handy batsman as well lower down the order and can really hurt the opposition bowlers. Especially, when there are 4-5 overs to go, he can be really destructive.
Pandya has a wiry physique but possess tremendous strength and has the capability of clearing any boundary in the world. However, his selection in the Test team is not justified as of now. He may turn out to be a good prospect for India in the coming years but for now one cannot see how we can fit in the side.
However, he is Virat Kohli’s favourite and we also know that he will probably retain his spot in the test side. But still one cannot resist but say that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages when we talk of including Hardik Pandya in the Test side. Here are the reasons:
Lacks batting technique
Pandya is not an accomplished batsman till now. In the batting friendly conditions of the subcontinent, he can be a real handful.
But as soon as the ball starts to seam and swing, he is found out. Pandya lacks the temperament to play a big innings. If he faces a couple of maiden overs, the next thing he knows his to slog the ball out of the ground. It does not work this way in Test cricket as there are phases when you have to give respect to the bowlers.
In the three-match Test series against South Africa, Pandya showed promise in the first innings of the first Test when he scored 90 odd. However, in the following innings he failed to contribute to the team’s cause.
What was more worrying was not that he was getting out but the manner in which he was throwing his wicket away. A couple of dismissals were quiet like school boy errors, to say the least.
Once, while running towards the striker’s end, Pandya did not ground as bad as a direct-hit rattled the stumps and Pandya was run out. Another one was on a short pitched delivery when Pandya played his favourite ramp shot and was caught behind the wickets.
One believes that Pandya disrupts the team combination somewhere or the other. As he is probably not a good enough fifth bowling option till now, he gives the opposition a chance to relax and score off him. While the pressure is put from the other end, India would be better off in playing a specialist bowler. Someone like Umesh Yadav in his place would be ideal. Umesh is at the batsmen all the time and does not give them an inch.
You can afford to have Hardik Pandya for the limited overs internationals. But playing him in the tests would be a gaffe. He is only a bits and pieces cricketer and at the test level, India should rather look for a specialist batsman or a bowler in place of him #ENGvIND
— Ramachandra.M/ ರಾಮಚಂದ್ರ.ಎಮ್ (@nanuramu) July 17, 2018
Pandya has a tendency of bowling a couple of wayward deliveries which then takes off the pressure off the opposition team.
If a batsman throws his wicket away continuously, you would know that he is doing something wrong and his spot may be in danger. Likewise, when a bowler keeps bowling wayward deliveries and does not pick up wickets for long stretches of time, he is scrutinized on the manner in which he is bowling.
However, Pandya when throws his wicket away, people say that he is more of a bowler and would contribute with the ball. When he comes on with the ball and gives a couple of looseners, people feel that he might chip in with the bat as well.
This results in the lack of ownership and responsibility. Hence, he has to become a more responsible cricketer if he wishes to enhance his test career.
6 proper batsmen
Wriddhiman Saha was injured and missed out on the one-off test between India and Afghanistan. However his performances have not been up to the mark with the bat. Notwithstanding the fact that he is a brilliant keeper, Dinesh Karthik has been stellar in the IPL.
Karthik can be instrumental for the balance of the side. The team management can then think of dropping Hardik Pandya and playing with 5 complete bowlers as Dinesh Karthik will then serve as the sixth batsman.