File image of Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli© AFP
Regarding the Cricket World Cup, which will be played in India from October 5, former England captain Eoin Morgan stated that having a fit Hardik Pandya makes Team India a strong contender in the marquee event. Hardik was a part of the Indian cricket team in the Asia Cup 2023. He performed well in all the three departments – batting, bowling and fielding. What was certainly the best thing for India was the fitness of Hardik.
“The fitness level of Hardik Pandya, his ability to bowl. He has bowl little bit in the Asia Cup so far but he has bowled really really well and there are very few sides in the tournament that would be a genuine contenders that will have somebody who bats in the tops six and and has the ability to bowl. It’s the old Ben Stokes role that we have for years with England,” Morgan said on Sky Sports.
“Australia have the likes of Stoinis and Cameron Green but that role genuinely balances the side and over the course of the World Cup we will see various different pitches. Majority of the contending teams have spinners that bat really well. There bases are generally covered. But having Hardik Pandya fit and being able to bowl five and six overs of the quality bowling really does in my eyes make them probably favourite,” he added.
Former New Zealand seamer Simon Doull also agreed with Morgan’s views and stated that the combination of Hardik, Axar Patel, and Ravindra Jadeja can prove to be really fruitful for the World Cup hosts.
“I agree with Morgan on the Hardik Pandya thing. If he is fit and raring to go then they have the likes of Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja, they are very good,” said Doull.
The ODI World Cup 2023 will kick-start from October 5 with defending champions England taking on New Zealand in the opening match in Ahmedabad.
Team India will open it’s campaign against Australia on October 8 in Chennai. The Rohit Sharma-led side will be squaring off against their arch-rivals Pakistan on October 14 in Ahmedabad.
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