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Hardik Pandya needs to bat and bowl to be considered an all-rounder: Kapil Dev

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Hardik Pandya is under fire for not revealing the extent of his several fitness issues and was dropped from the home T20 series against New Zealand, which India won 3-0.

Hardik Pandya’s back injury since 2019 has limited his bowling in white-ball cricket (Reuters Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hardik Pandya was not included in India’s T20I squad for the New Zealand series
  • Hardik has struggled with his back which has limited his bowling in limited-overs cricket
  • Hardik bowled just 2 overs in India’s campaign at the recent ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE

Former India captain Kapil Dev believes Hardik Pandya needs to start bowling in white-ball cricket to be called an all-rounder. Pandya only started bowling in the recent T20 World Cup after a long gap as he is still yet to fully recover from a long-standing back injury for which he has even undergone surgery.

A vital cog in India’s scheme of things in white-ball cricket, the flamboyant Pandya bowled in just two matches in the recent T20 World Cup where India went out in the group stage itself.

He is also under fire for not revealing the extent of his several fitness issues and was dropped from the home T20 series against New Zealand, which India won 3-0.

“He has to do both the jobs to be considered an all-rounder. He is not bowling so can we call him an all-rounder? Let him bowl, he has come out from the injury,” Kapil said at the Royal Calcutta Golf Course in Kolkata.

“He is an extremely important batter to the country, for bowling he has to play a lot more matches, perform and bowl and then we will say,” added India’s first World Cup-winning captain.

Kapil also predicted that Rahul Dravid the coach will be a bigger success than the immensely accomplished Dravid the cricketer. Dravid began his new innings as the Indian team’s head coach in the ongoing series against New Zealand, a post he has been given till the 2023 ODI World Cup in India.

“He’s a good man, a good cricketer. He will do a better job as a coach than as a cricketer because in cricket nobody has done better than him. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed,” Kapil said.

Dravid earlier served as the head of National Cricket Academy and was also the coach of India’s Under-19 and A teams, nurturing several young talents who went on to represent the country with distinction.

Talking about Dravid as the chief coach, Kapil further said: “You can’t just judge one after his debut, you don’t go by one performance. Over a period of time, what Rahul will do, we will come to know. You only think positive.”

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