Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar finds it difficult to fit into the complete Hardik Pandya in India’s squad for the 2019 World Cup, where Jasprit Bumrah will be available. He believes that the 25-year-old has to fight some middle-range hitters to seal his spot for the main event. Manjrekar’s comment came on the morning of India’s 3rd ODI against New Zealand at the Bay Oval, where Hardik played his first international game since his September 2018.
Hardik made his return to India on Mount Maunganui on Monday after a series of incidents kept him aloof. He had incurred a back sprain during India’s group stage match against Pakistan in the 2019 Asian Cup in September. I was out of the series against the West Indies and the T20I contest against Australia. He joined the team in Australia for the third and fourth tests, but could not find his name in the XI. And just before the ODI series could welcome everyone’s team, he was sent home due to his controversial statements about Koffee With Karan, which denied him more practice before the World Cup. (READ | Sanjay Manjrekar underlines England’s flawed approach to the Windies series; Michael Vaughan gives an adequate answer)
Last week, the BCCI lifted the suspension and allowed him to play in the New Zealand series. The Indian think tank put him in the XI game for the third game and made an impressive return to format. He chose two crucial windows that ended with figures of 2 by 45 and also started a stunner to fire New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson. Sourav Ganguly, Sunil Gavaskar and Captain Virat Kohli, who had condemned their comments on the talk show, were very impressed with their sensational comeback. (ALSO READ | ‘Hardik Pandya was absolutely great’, Sunil Gavaskar praises the performance of all players against New Zealand)
In spite of everything, Manjrekar found it difficult to fit into the team of the World Cup in India. He tweeted: “A difficult one for India – Fit in Hardik on an Indian team with Bumrah available.” Shami, Bhuvi, Bumrah, Chahal and Kuldeep are now indispensable, Hardik must, therefore, compete more as a hitter with Rayudu, Kedar and Karthik, your thoughts? # WorldCup2019 “