Irfan Pathan Questions Hardik Pandya's Priority

Irfan Pathan Questions Hardik Pandya’s Priority

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has come under scrutiny again, this time from former cricketer Irfan Pathan, who has called on the BCCI to reassess Pandya’s treatment. Pathan emphasized that Pandya’s performance for India has not met expectations in recent times, highlighting concerns over his contributions. This critique underscores ongoing debates surrounding Pandya’s role in the team and raises questions about the consistency of his performances at the international level, as expressed by Pathan.


Hardik Pandya’s Injury:

Hardik Pandya’s absence from the Indian team since the 2023 World Cup match against Bangladesh was primarily due to an ankle injury, sidelining him for subsequent series against Australia and the South Africa tour. Despite regaining fitness by January, Pandya disclosed that the lack of game opportunities delayed his return. 

He eventually made a competitive comeback during the DY Patil Tournament before leading Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024 as captain. Pandya’s journey back into cricket has been marked by challenges and a focus on recovery, highlighting the significance of his return to competitive action in both domestic and league cricket following his injury-induced hiatus from international matches.

Irfan Pathan’s Thought over Hardik Pandya:

Irfan Pathan’s critical evaluation suggests that Hardik Pandya’s impact has been minimal, especially considering the elusive nature of a World Cup victory for India. Pathan emphasizes the need for the board to assess Pandya’s contributions and their impact on the team’s success, particularly in the context of major tournaments like the World Cup.

Irfan Pathan said, “What I feel about Hardik Pandya is that Indian cricket needs to make it clear that they should not give him that much priority as they have given him so far, because we still haven’t won the World Cup. And if you think you are a primary all-rounder, you need to make that kind of an impact at the international level. As far as the all-rounder 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.”

Injuries have significantly impacted Hardik Pandya’s career, leading to his unofficial retirement from Test cricket due to the physical demands across formats. Since returning from injury in early 2022, Pandya focused on bowling at full capacity, often reaching speeds in the late 130s to 140s, contributing as the team’s sixth bowling option. He also captained India in T20Is for over a year following the 2022 T20 World Cup.

Pathan emphasizes the importance of Hardik Pandya committing fully to team obligations without selective participation in series and tournaments. Prior to the IPL, reports indicated that Pandya’s central contract was in jeopardy until he pledged availability for domestic tournaments outside the Indian cricket schedule. Pathan stresses the need for a team with diverse contributors, drawing parallels to Australia’s successful approach built on collective efforts rather than reliance on individual players.

He further said, “First of all, he 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. 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.”

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