Are we witnessing a decline in form of a great all-around talent that the Indian cricket team currently has in store?

Hardik Pandya is a rare breed of cricketer who exhibits three-dimensional skills of batting, bowling and fielding for India. Only Kapil Dev and Irfan Pathan fall under this category. Pandya provided the perfect balance and stability to the Indian side. Its already been five years when he broke into the Indian team through some excellent performances in Ipl for Mumbai Indians. since then he has not looked back, carried out the role of an all-rounder in all three formats for India to good effect. It was in the 2018 Asia cup where he suffered a severe back injury while bowling against Pakistan and then he was taken out of the field immediately using a stretcher.

Hardik Pandya during India Vs Pakistan Match. Source: Twitter

Had a great IPL 2019 just before the ICC world cup by scoring 400 runs and picking 14 wickets to guide MI to the title. During the 2019 world cup had a couple of good starts with excellent strike rates but failed to produce big match-winning performances either with bat or ball.

After the world cup due to a lower back problem, had successful surgery was done in England. Made a comeback as a pure batsman to the white ball side for the Australia tour, scored a bulk of runs at a rapid pace to win the ODI series for India, and performed well in T20I too. Due to his inability to bowl, he was not picked for the Test series against Australia. Had a below-par return in the IPL 2021 by getting out cheaply and didn’t resume his bowling. Also not picked for home England series and one off-world test championship against NZ.

Due to the current pandemic situation had lots of time off to keep himself ready and fit to prove his criticizers wrong. He was picked in the squad for the SL white-ball tour. He announced to the media that he is ready to bowl in the series so that he wants to break into the test team by proving his skills with the ball. Unfortunately for Pandya, the series didn’t go well as per his plan due to mediocre batting display and inconsistent bowling spells. He failed to hit big sixes at will nor provided important breakthroughs to change the match scenarios.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya bowling during the IND VS SL series Source: Getty Images

Pandya is yet to prove his batting ability at the international level on a consistent basis as per records. It is hurting a lot for many Indian fans to see their prime all-rounder losing form at big-time before the main event WCT20 which is planned to take place in UAE. Right now Pandya’s place is under scanner as former player Sunil Gavaskar suggests developing Deepak Chahar and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar as all-rounders for the T20 world cup instead of Pandya.

As a cricket fan, Just Imagine if Pandya comes to form during the second phase of Ipl by fine-tuning his hard-hitting ability, extra pace bouncers to dominate the batsmen, and his fielding acrobats. Who knows only time will say, Let’s hope Pandya finds his mojo back and helps India to lift their second T20 world cup title.