Former India cricketer Sandeep Patil has questioned the Indian selectors for including all-rounder Hardik Pandya in the 15-member squad for the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021 despite fitness concerns.
Notably, Pandya, who featured in India’s opening game against Pakistan, left the field midway for scans after injuring his shoulders while batting. In fact, his contribution with the ball has become very rare since his return to the side.
Not to mention, during the second-leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the 28-year-old did not bowl at all and looked completely out of touch with the willow. Patil said if Pandya didn’t bowl in the IPL, the call on him should’ve been taken by selectors, and a fitness test should have been done before picking him up for the multi-team tournament.
“His (Pandya) selection in the XI is up to the captain and the coach, and only the BCCI will know about it. But basically, if a player is not fit, then it comes to the selectors. If he didn’t bowl in the entire IPL, the selectors should have taken a call. They should have asked for a fitness test before including him in the team for the World Cup,” Patil told Times of India.
Patil further asked for someone to be held accountable, especially in the absence of any statement from India coach Ravi Shastri on Pandya’s selection. The 63-year-old reckoned the ongoing T20 World Cup is a major event not a bilateral series that any player can get selected despite not fit enough.
“Someone has to be accountable. There’s no comment from (India coach) Ravi Shastri. Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane said that he’s fit. How can you say he’s fit if he became unfit during the match? I mean, this is the World Cup, not just any series or match,” Patil added.
India will now play against New Zealand in their second fixture at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday, October 31.