Indian cricket shouldn’t give Hardik Pandya that much priority: Irfan Pathan

NEW DELHI: 2007 T20 World Cup winner Irfan Pathan has stopped short of calling struggling all-rounder and Mumbai Indians captain Hardik Pandya as an over-rated player, but called for the Indian team management to “not give so much importance to Hardik as they have so far”.
Pandya, who returned to action in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) after recovering from an injury, has failed to make an impact with both bat and ball, and his problems compounded, thanks to MI’s topsy-turvy campaign in the tournament so far.
With the national selectors set to name the squad for the forthcoming T20 World Cup in June, Pandya’s dismal run of form has made him a doubtful starter for the cricket spectacle in the US and the Caribbean.
Pathan, however, did not mince his words while lashing out at Pandya, saying that the all-rounder is yet to prove himself in both departments (bat and ball) at the international level and as a result doesn’t deserve the kind of importance given to him.
“What I feel about Hardik Pandya is that Indian cricket needs to make it clear… they should not give him that much priority as they have given him so far, because we still haven’t won the World Cup. If you think you are a primary all-rounder, you need to make that kind of an impact at the international level,” Pathan said.
“As far as the all-rounder spot is concerned he hasn’t made that impact at the international level, we are only thinking about the potential. We are getting confused between the IPL performances and the international performances. That’s a big difference,” Pathan said on Star Sports’ Press Room Show.
Cannot pick and choose games
Irfan further hit out at the BCCI for allowing the all-rounder to pick and choose tournaments. The BCCI had recently made it mandatory for national team cricketers to play domestic cricket when not on national duty and already has set a precedent by dropping Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan from the annual central contracts list. However, the same yardstick hasn’t yet been followed when it comes to Pandya.
“First of all, Hardik needs to play throughout the full year. He cannot pick and choose. Indian cricket needs to stop doing that. Stop giving preferences to individuals, if you do that, you will not be winning major tournaments,” Pathan said.
“What Australia has been doing for many years is that they are actually preferring the team game. Making everyone a superstar. Not one superstar, everybody is a superstar in the squad. If you don’t do that, you will not win big tournaments,” he added.
Pathan also highlighted the problems the Indian team is facing in picking finishers and seam bowlers for the T20 World Cup.
“If we’re thinking Ravindra Jadeja is a number seven batter, you need a good finisher. His numbers are not that great as far as the strike rate is concerned at the international level. So there is a worry for me there and the fast bowling.”
“Apart from Jasprit Bumrah, if I look at the guys playing in IPL, played before the IPL in the last South Africa series, their numbers are not that great, be it Arshdeep (Singh), be it Mohammed Siraj, you know, the guys who played last. So these two departments, it really makes me worry. And these are the departments going to be very, very crucial,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.