Former batsman Wasim Jaffer believes that T20 captain Hardik Pandya’s batting form is a definite cause for concern for the Indian team. According to Jaffer, Pandya is clearly rusting with willow in hand and has failed to accelerate while putting pressure on other batsmen. India suffered an eight-wicket defeat at the hands of West Indies in the deciding T20I in Florida on Sunday, thus losing the five-match series 2-3. Batting first after winning the toss, the Windies made a score of 165/9, which was piled up by the Windies in 18 overs.
Hardik Pandya struggled with the bat and could only manage 14 runs in 18 balls, hitting one six. Speaking during a post-match show on ESPNcricinfo, Jaffer admitted that India should be worried over the all-rounder’s lack of contribution with the bat.
“Well, it has been a concern. He looks little rusty. We can’t see that free-flowing Hardik Pandya who comes in and strikes it sweetly. It doesn’t mean hitting sixes but striking it nicely, rotating the strike. Apart from the fifty he scored in the 3rd ODI, where also he started very slowly, and picked it up in the slog overs. But even then he looked a little rusty,” Jaffer opined.
The former India opener pointed out that after a slow start, Pandya cannot expect to accelerate every time.
“That’s a concern for me. Looking at how Hardik Pandya batted in the series, that was a big concern. Not every time he is going to start slowly, and he is going to finish strongly. We could see this during this series as well. As soon as he comes, the momentum drops down, the strike rate comes down and puts the pressure on the other guys and the dug out as well. Something for him to worry, take note and improve,” the 45-year-old went on to elaborate.
Hardik Pandya could manage only 77 runs in four innings of the T20 series at an average of 25.67 and a strike rate of 110.
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“Continuity Of The Batsmen Was A Big Issue” – Jaffer On India’s T20 Series Defeat
Reflecting on India’s dismal performance in the T20I series, Wasim Jaffer said that apart from Hardik Pandya, most others in the batting department also lacked consistency.
“The consistency of the batters was a major issue – Sanju Samson, Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan in the T20 format. When you have got so many guys who are not performing at their best, you do get results like that,” the former cricketer concluded
While Sanju Samson could only manage 32 runs in three innings in T20Is, Shubman Gill scored 102 runs in five innings and Ishan Kishan scored 33 runs in two innings.