T20 World Cup 2021: Rohit Sharma gives BIG update on Hardik Pandya’s fitness, REVEALS when all-rounder will start bowling


Team India star opener Rohit Sharma, who is leading the side against Australia in the T20 World Cup 2021 warm-up match, on Wednesday (October 20) provided a big update on Hardik Pandya’s fitness and revealed when the all-rounder will be ready to bowl.

Speaking at the toss, Rohit said that while Hardik isn’t deemed completely fit to bowl now, the team management is expecting him to contribute with the ball when the T20 World Cup starts.

Notably, Hardik bowled a bit during India’s tour of Sri Lanka but he spent the entire UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) as a specialist lower middle-order batter for Mumbai. He didn’t even bowl in India’s first warm-up game against England, which the Men in Blue won without much difficulty.

Speaking at the toss in the warm-up game against Australia, India stand-in skipper Rohit said, “Hardik is coming along pretty well, but it’ll be a while before he will start to bowl. He hasn’t started bowling, but he should be ready by the start of the tournament. We have quality in the main bowlers, but you need an option for a sixth bowler.”

Interestingly, Rohit is leading Team India against Australia as regular captain Virat Kohli has decided to sit out. Also, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are resting.

“Kohli, Bumrah and Shami are resting today. We wanted to bat first as well, just wanted to try and get runs on the board. We want to make sure that we get the 6th bowling option, some options in the batting order as well, we’ll try all those things today,” Rohit added.

Meanwhile, Australia won the toss and opted to bat first against India in the warm-up match of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup on Wednesday at ICC Academy Ground in Dubai.

Speaking at the toss, Australian skipper Aaron Finch said, “We will bat first. Batted second in the last game, so looking to change things up a bit. It’s going very well at the moment. Josh Hazlewood is the only one who’ll not take the field today. Mitchell Swepson and Josh Inglis aren’t playing as well.”

On Monday, India defeated England by seven wickets in their first warm-up match. Chasing 189, India got off to an excellent start as opening batters KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan played crucial knocks of 70 and 51 runs, respectively.

After this match, India will next play Pakistan in their opening game of the T20 World Cup on October 24 while on the other hand, England will be facing West Indies on October 23.

In Group 2, India will then face New Zealand and Afghanistan, the emerging force in T20 cricket, plus the winners of Group B and runners-up from Group A.

India squad: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli(c), Rishabh Pant(w), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, and Varun Chakravarthy.

Australia squad: David Warner, Aaron Finch(c), Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade(w), Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, Josh Inglis, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Swepson, Glenn Maxwell, and Pat Cummins.

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Sagar Biswas

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