Choosing Hardik Pandya for the T20 World Cup, a big mistake? Sunil Gavaskar says: “In this IPL…”

Choosing Hardik Pandya for the T20 World Cup, a big mistake?  Sunil Gavaskar says: "In this IPL..."

T20 World Cup: File photo of Hardik Pandya©AFP

Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar believes that there is no reason to be overly concerned Hardik Pandyabowling ahead of the T20 World Cup, saying the all-rounder will be a “different player” in national colours. Pandya was retained as the vice-captain of the 15-member squad announced by the BCCI on Tuesday despite his ordinary form for Mumbai Indians in the ongoing IPL. The MI captain scored 197 runs and took just four wickets in 10 matches, with his team languishing in ninth place.

“There is a big difference between playing in the IPL and playing for your country. Playing for your country brings out something different in every player and Hardik Pandya will be a different player,” Gavaskar said on Sports Today.

“He had to face a lot of problems in this particular tournament (IPL), he handled it quite well. When he goes abroad and has to play for India, I think he will be in a state completely different in spirit.

“And that's going to be a much more positive mindset than maybe what we've seen here in this tournament. So, Hardik Pandya will contribute both with the bat and the ball in this tournament,” added Gavaskar.

Pandya was booed in the first few matches of the IPL after taking over as captain of Mumbai Indians. Rohit Sharmawho guided the franchise to five titles.

Gavaskar also felt that this Indian team has the ability to bring back the World Cup.

“They are definitely title contenders. At international level sometimes you need a little bit of luck and if this Indian team has just that little bit of luck, then I am very confident that after 2007 (triumph), the T20 The World Cup will return to India.”

The former Indian skipper felt that all the players would be perfectly conditioned for the mega-event given that they would have played a lot of cricket in the IPL.

“They will go with good pace (after the IPL); the bowlers will have bowled quite a few overs, the batters will have enough time off in the middle, some of them will have scored 80, 90 and 100.

“So, clearly, this team will go with this little break… a week's break (between the conclusion of the IPL and the start of the World Cup). With this little break, they will be a little refreshed, but in At the same time, time is not rusty.” The IPL concludes on May 26 while India will play their first World Cup match against Ireland in New York on June 5.

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