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Hardik's primary role in T20 WC will be to finish games with the bat: Team India sources

News Agencies | Updated on: 14 October 2021, 10:57 IST

With the Indian team management assessing all-rounder Hardik Pandya's back over the last couple of days, it has been decided that he will primarily be a finisher going into the T20 World Cup in UAE.

Speaking to ANI, sources in the team said Hardik is still not a 100 per cent when it comes to bowling, but his experience when it comes to absorbing pressure and finishing games with the bat cannot be overlooked going into a showpiece event.

"He is not a 100 per cent when it comes to bowling so it will be a finisher's role for Hardik in this World Cup. We will keep assessing him as we progress, but at present, the team will look at him as a batsman who comes in and looks to play the finisher's role just like MS Dhoni did over the years," the source pointed.

Asked if the bowling part is a complete no, the source said: "With someone like Hardik, you know the level of dedication and effort is always 100 per cent. So, we will keep working on his bowling."

The All-India Senior Selection Committee after a discussion with the team management on Wednesday added Shardul Thakur to the main squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup. All-rounder Axar Patel, who was part of the 15-member squad will now be on the list of standby players.

India will open its T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan on October 24 in Dubai. After the upcoming T20 World Cup, Virat Kohli will be stepping down as the side's captain in the shortest format.

India's squad for ICC T20 World Cup: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami.

Stand-by players: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel.

The following cricketers will join the team bubble in Dubai and assist Team India in their preparations: Avesh Khan, Umran Malik, Harshal Patel, Lukman Meriwala, Venkatesh Iyer, Karn Sharma, Shahbaz Ahmed, and K. Gowtham.


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First published: 14 October 2021, 10:57 IST