Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Hardik Pandya is woefully out of form currently. Moreover, under his leadership, Mumbai Indians (MI) are performing miserably in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, the star all-rounder has been appointed as the vice-captain of the Indian team for the upcoming T2o World Cup to be held in the West Indies and USA.

In response to the development, former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan recently took a dig at the selectors for prioritising the selection of the MI skipper.

“Previously, Hardik Pandya held the captaincy, but Rohit Sharma took over for T20 matches. Post T20 World Cup, there was a new plan; they aimed for a younger team with Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav as potential captains. Yet, questions arise regarding Pandya’s performance, consistency and commitment to Indian cricket,” said Irfan during an interaction. 

“Regular participation in domestic cricket is essential for serving Indian cricket throughout the year. Injuries are inevitable, but proper planning involving consistent match play, including domestic cricket, is vital for a player’s return. But then there is this one player who returns from injury without fulfilling the same requirements,” he added.

Irfan also alleged that Panda is not judged on the same parameter as of other players.

“That shouldn’t happen because it sends the wrong message to the rest of the team. When they see one player receiving special treatment, it disrupts the team environment. Cricket isn’t like tennis. It’s a team sport where equality is vital. Every player should be treated fairly and equally. Regardless of whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned player like Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli, cricket is a team sport first and foremost. I’ve witnessed things in the past, particularly during the T20 World Cup last year, that went against the principles of Indian cricket—instances where certain players were given undue advantage, which is unacceptable,” said the former all-rounder.