T20 WC: Manjrekar bats for Pandya ahead of Dube

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 01, 2024 IST

Hardik Pandya

New Delhi, June 1: The debate continues. Should India play Hardik Pandya or Shivam Dube in their playing XI in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024? Or, should the Rohit Sharma led side pick both the all-rounders in their playing XI.

There has been mixed responses on the issue. Many former players have voiced their opinions. 

Joining the debate, ex cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar stated that he would pick Pandya over Dube for the T20 World Cup in the USA and Caribbean islands, due to his proven record at international events.

Since coming into the Indian team in 2016, Pandya excelled in his all-round roles in all formats, till a back injury in the 2018 Asia Cup and surgery post the 2019 World Cup stopped him from being back at his absolute best, resulting in him playing only as a batter in the 2021 T20 World Cup, where India didn’t even enter the semifinals.

In 92 T2OIs that he has played, Pandya has picked 73 wickets and has scored 1348 runs.

 “My vote will always go to Hardik Pandya. I know he had a pretty quiet IPL, but look back at the last T20 World Cup India played. In the last match against England at Adelaide, Hardik Pandya scored 60 off 30 balls, or around 60 off 33 balls, with a strike rate of 190, after India had scored 62 in their first 10 overs. When it comes to T20 World Cups and marquee events, you back the players who excel on the big stage," he said.

"For me, it will always be Hardik Pandya or Rishabh Pant ahead of people like Shivam Dube until we see Shivam Dube perform on the big stage," Manjrekar added.

On the bowling front, the former batter said Pandya can't play as a fifth bowler and batted for spin-heavy playing 11 with the all-rounder coming in as the sixth bowling option.

His recent form is also a concern for the Indian team on both batting and bowling fronts. Pandya picked 11 wickets, mostly in the back end of the IPL 2024. In 14 matches that he batted, the all-rounder scored only 216 runs with an average of 18.

 “Hardik Pandya can't be your 5th bowler. I think India must have Hardik Pandya as the 6th bowler because of the amount of bowling he's done and with all the fitness issues. So I'd rather go a little heavy on spin because, when you look at the seam quality of India, there's not much depth. If Mohammad Shami were there, it would have completely changed the look of India's bowling attack. So, when you've got some good spinning options, I'd rather go for the extra spinner,” Manjrekar said.

India will lock horns with Bangladesh in a warm-up match in New York on Sunday before playing their T20 World Cup opener against Ireland at the same venue on June 5. 

Whether India play Pandya or Dube, or both in their playing XI, every Indian would love to see Team India win the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 title. (With IANS support)

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