Former India cricketer turned commentator, Robin Uthappa, has come forward to defend Hardik Pandya’s captaincy following a recent bout of criticism. Uthappa, an expert for JioCinema, in a select virtual media interaction, expressed his belief that errors are an inherent aspect of the game and even legendary cricketer MS Dhoni was not immune to lapses in judgment.
Hardik Pandya said “It’s a learning process, we will get better”. pic.twitter.com/dRF6slKbjM
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“Errors are part and parcel of the game. He will be making some errors. I think even someone like MS Dhoni also made errors, there were errors in his judgment at times as well. And I think it is normal and very human for that to happen but Hardik Pandya is someone who looks at captaincy from a progressing point of view. So I think he will surely improve. I think we got to allow him as a leader to actually go through that process of building himself. He has led in IPL and as far as International cricket is concerned, it is a journey we can’t expect him to deliver every single time,” Uthappa said.
Shifting gears, Uthappa delved into the upcoming Asia Cup 2023, shedding light on key players to watch out for from both India and Pakistan. He emphasized the significance of Virat Kohli’s form, highlighting his recent impressive performances, particularly against arch-rivals Pakistan. Additionally, Uthappa underscored the importance of Rohit Sharma’s performance in the white-ball format, especially with an eye on the impending World Cup 2023.
“From India Virat Kohli’s form will be very crucial we cannot forget how he played the last time we played against Pakistan. Recently, he has played great knocks, I think he has smashed 5-6 centuries in the recent past and he loves batting against Pakistan. After Virat Kohli, I think Rohit Sharma’s performance will be very crucial for Team India. He has performed exceptionally in red-ball format but he needs to level up in the white-ball as well. Especially ahead of the World Cup 2023,” Uthappa predicted.
“Shaheen Afridi is a very attacking bowler. With the new ball in the first 3-4 overs, he can do a lot of damage, so it will be important for Team India to Negotiate with him. They have a very good team when you talk about white-ball cricket. But I think our players will give them a tough fight as well,” he added.
Commenting on Pakistan’s potential game-changers, Uthappa singled out Shaheen Afridi as a formidable force with the new ball. He acknowledged the challenges that Team India might face against Afridi’s attacking style, while also expressing confidence in India’s ability to put up a tough fight.
When it came to India’s bowling lineup in the Asia Cup 2023, Uthappa expressed optimism about the team’s prospects, particularly if Jasprit Bumrah is fit and available. He outlined the potential spin trio of Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Ravindra Jadeja, complemented by the pace of Hardik Pandya and a combination of pacers including Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, and Mohammad Siraj.
“I think if Jasprit Bumrah is fit and available then Team India’s bowling lineup looks very solid. I think Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja will be the three spinners with Hardik Pandya as a pace bowling all-rounder and two pacer who could be Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami Or Mohammad Siraj,” 2007 World Cup winner said.
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