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Hardik Pandya Picked For T20 WC ‘Under Pressure’; Rohit Sharma, Ajit Agarkar Against It: Report





There have been rumours of a possible rift between Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya ever since the latter was appointed captain of the Mumbai Indians (MI) ahead of IPL 2024. Hardik had replaced Rohit as MI captain after rejoining the franchise from Gujarat Titans (GT) during the trade window. However, it is safe to say that the move has backfired as MI are already out of the IPL 2024 playoffs contention. Also, Hardik’s performance this season has been mediocre to say the least.

In 13 games, he has scored 200 runs at a strike-rate of 144.93, while also taking 11 wickets in 13 matches at an economy of 10.59. Most of his good bowling performances have come in the latter half of the tournament.

However, Hardik was still picked by the selectors in the 15-man squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in the Americas.

A report had recently claimed that neither Rohit nor the selection committee, led by former India pacer Ajit Agarkar, was in favour of selecting Hardik.

But, the report said that Hardik was picked in the team under ‘pressure’. The report did not mention whether it was a situational pressure (as he is India’s top fast bowling allrounder) or a pressure from some quarters. The report also attributed sources as saying that captain Rohit Sharma , BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar and some selectors were against Pandya’s selection in the T20 World Cup team, during the selection meeting in Ahmedabad.

The report, published by Dainik Jagran, also added that Rohit might retire from the T20 format after the World Cup.

However, the report also highlighted that Hardik’s place in the playing XI is not a surity. And even if he plays, he might not feature in all of the games.

When Rohit and Agarkar attended the press conference after the T20 World Cup squad selection, the chief selector was asked about the inclusion of Hardik in the roster despite his poor form. In response, Agarkar explained how the selection committee didn’t have a choice as there’s no like-for-like replacement for Hardik available from the talent pool that exists.

India will play three of their four Group A matches in New York including the highly-anticipated clash with Pakistan on June 9. Their fourth fixture is slated to be held in Florida, against Canada on June 15.

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