Cricket / Hardik can make match one-sided, he should play vs Pak: Sehwag

Zoom News : Oct 24, 2021, 06:18 PM
Cricket Desk: Virender Sehwag has named Hardik Pandya as his 'first pick' for Sunday's India-Pakistan clash. The former opener said that irrespective of his bowling fitness, Pandya possesses the ability to make the match 'one-sided'.

India and Pakistan will go head-to-head in Dubai on Sunday in the T20 World Cup 2021 on Sunday. Hardik Pandya hasn't bowled in a competitive game since India's tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year. His inability to contribute as an all-rounder has even forced India to ask the top-order batters, including captain Virat Kohli, to chip in with a few overs.

Speaking to Cricbuzz, Virender Sehwag admitted that a few overs from Hardik Pandya would be the icing on the cake. But he also argued that the 28-year-old should keep his place as long as he's in good batting form. Sehwag said:

"He'll be on my team. The kind of batter he is, if he clicks, he'll make the match one-sided, and finish it. He has the ability, which he has shown many times. Yes, if he was bowling fit, that would have been the icing on the cake...""You should go with five bowlers plus if Hardik Pandya or someone else from the top-order bowls a few overs, it'll be the perfect team for me... His batting is surely a concern. If he's not in form or not batting well in the nets, then you can maybe see another batter, otherwise he'll be my first pick."

The last time India and Pakistan met - the 2019 World Cup in England - Hardik Pandya contributed 26 off 19 in India's total of 336-5. He also bowled eight overs, picking up the crucial wickets of Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik.

Virat Kohli in a press conference on Saturday also spoke on similar lines about Hardik Pandya. He called Pandya an impact player who should be backed as a pure batter. Kohli also added that the all-rounder might return to bowling a few overs at a 'certain stage' in the tournament.

Virender Sehwag picks his five specialist bowlers for the India-Pakistan game

Virender Sehwag also picked his five specialist bowlers for the high-octane encounter. They are: Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Varun Chakravarthy and Ravindra Jadeja. Explaining his choice of spinners, Sehwag said:

"Jadeja gives you the combination of batting and bowling. He can bowl four overs because Pakistan just have one left-hander, which is Fakhar Zaman.""Varun Chakravarthy will play against Pakistan for the first time so even the Pakistanis don't know what kind of bowling he offers, so he could be that X-factor. Ashwin and Rahul Chahar are normal spinners. I believe the Pakistani batters will play them out easily because they are good players of spin."

Sehwag also added that he prefers Kumar over Shardul Thakur because of the former's experience and prowess with the new ball and the old. Sehwag concluded:

"I am going with Bhuvneshwar Kumar because of his superior experience. He can hit good yorkers at the death; he can trouble the batters if there's swing on offer with the new ball... He's surely isn't in great bowling rhythm, but that doesn't matter in an India-Pakistan match because you try to give more than 100%."

India have never lost to Pakistan in the World Cup. That record and much more will be put to the test when the two arch-rivals lock horns on Sunday.