“I Was Surprised”: Ex-India Star Highlights How ‘Captain’ Hardik Pandya Erred In 2nd T20I

Hardik Pandya has started his reign as the captain of India’s T20I team, though not on a full-time basis, he remains a ‘work-in-progress’. The India all-rounder might already have an Indian Premier League (IPL) title to his name as a captain, but leading the Indian team on the international circuit is a different challenge altogether. In the 2nd T20I against Sri Lanka, Hardik took a number of dubious calls as a captain, and former India opener Wasim Jaffer hasn’t shied away from calling them out.

Jaffer, in a show on ESPNCricinfo, suggested that he wanted Hardik to bowl at death instead of newcomer Shivam Mavi as the latter doesn’t have a reputation for delivering in that phase of the game.

“I expected Hardik to bowl instead of Mavi in the death. Mavi hasn’t got a reputation of bowling well in the death. Hardik had that experience. I thought he would have bowled that 20th over,” said Jaffer.

The former India opener was also ‘surprised’ to see Hardik using Arshdeep for just 2 overs. While there’s no denying that the 5 no-balls the left-arm pacer bowled put India on the backfoot, he still remains one of India’s best bowlers in the last 4 overs.

“I was surprised, I thought he’ll come in and bowl after the sixth over. He’ll probably bowl one or two overs in the middle overs and then bowl in the death. Also, just giving two overs to Arshdeep, Hardik got it wrong there,” Jaffer added.

“Since Shivam Mavi did so well in the first game, why didn’t he bowl with the new ball? You could probably give Arshdeep the third or fourth over. Still unacceptable what Arshdeep did. But I think Hardik should have trusted Mavi,” Jaffer further said.

During the post-match presentation ceremony, Hardik pointed out the errors made by the Indian team during the powerplays (both while batting and fielding) that cost them the match.

“Both bowling and batting – powerplay hurt us. We made basic errors which we shouldn’t do at this level. Learning should be the basics we can control. You can have a bad day but shouldn’t be going away from basics. In this situation it’s very difficult. In past as well he’s bowled no-balls. It’s not about blaming but no ball is a crime,” he had said.

With the series level 1-1, India and Sri Lanka will now square off in the series decider on Saturday.

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