Author: Ashok Kumar Shaw
Hardik Pandya’s forced break from cricket due to back injury has given the opportunity to Shivam Dube to make his mark in Indian cricket. But Pandya’s comeback will pose new challenges to Team India. Vijay Shankar too is in the fray for the all-rounder’s spot in the squad.
Hence, it will be a challenge for India to finalize the all-rounder slots for the 2020 World T20 in Australia?
So, who between Pandya, Dube, and Shankar will make it to World T20?
Dube has been impressive in the few outings he has played so far. He performed his best in the series decider against Bangladesh at Nagpur, coming up with 3/30 to turn the match around.
He also came up with a brilliant 54 off 30 balls in just his fourth T20I. These two knocks have made the youngster to watch out for. But Dube is still a work in the progress and needs a season or two to hit top gear.
But he is a bankable all-rounder and few good performances with bat and ball can see him on the flight to Australia.
He has been out of the limelight since the 2019 World Cup. But he is not totally out of favour. He is still in reckoning and can make a comeback to Indian cricket on the back of a few strong performances in domestic cricket.
As long as Pandya recovers from his back problems, both Dube and Shankar are in contention and may seal the second all-rounder’s spot in the squad for World T20.
Shankar has not done badly in the few ODIs and T20Is he has played for India. He is a promising all-rounder but needs constant direction to stake his claim in the World T20 squad.
It’s matter of days before Pandya makes his comeback to the Indian squad. Pandya is the most bankable and successful all-rounder among the three and can be counted to deliver with the bat and ball consistently.
He can play those impact innings that can turn around the match in minutes. Besides, Pandya can be counted to break stands or contain the innings with the ball. He can deliver the four overs consistently in T20Is and provides the perfect sixth bowling option.
But can Pandya fire straightaway after returning from his back problem?
Verdict: At the moment, Pandya and Dube look like a certainty, if India goes with two all-rounders, with Shankar having an outside chance.
Cover image credits: India TV