Xtra Time Web Desk: Why Hardik Pandya can turn out to be India’s X-Factor in Asia Cup 2022? The lanky all rounder is going through the form of his life. Hardik can actually be the X-factor for India in the upcoming Asia Cup 2022 tournament. It is a captain’s dream to have a cricketer like Hardik and Rohit Sharma will be pinning his hopes on him to continue his good form in the tournament.
Why Hardik can be the X-factor for Team India? Firstly, with him bowling regularly now, he provides the sixth bowling option which India missed during the T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE. He can also be used as a floater in the batting order which will be a huge advantage for Rohit Sharma.
Hardik suffered a horrible back injury during the 2018 Asia Cup at the same venue and had to undergo surgery. Though he eventually returned from the setback, there were constant fears of a relapse. This in turn led to him going into the 2021 T20 World Cup as a pure batter.
Questions were raised about his quality as a pure batter because he was unable to provide explosive finishes as he had done with ease previously. He was also not retained by the Mumbai Indians ahead of the 2022 Indian Premier League season.
There was a lot of controversy surrounding his position in the team. He was eventually dropped from the side as well. But after a considerable break and rehabilitation, Hardik bounced back in style. The hard yards he put in eventually bore fruit as he returned all guns blazing in this year’s IPL. Pandya contributed with both bat and ball, scoring almost 500 runs at an average of 44.27 notwithstanding the 10 wickets he took. He was exceptional as a captain for Gujarat Titans, marshalling his troops on way to becoming the champions.
Hardik’s all-round brilliance saw him make a comeback into the Indian team. He also led India to a 2-0 series win against Ireland followed by a useful contribution that paved the way for India winning the ODI and T20I series against England.
In the three T20Is he played, Hardik scored 63 runs and picked five wickets. This included his haul of 51 and 4/33 in the first T20I against England. Meanwhile, in the ODI series, Pandya scored 100 runs in 2 matches and picked 6 wickets as well. This included his 71 and 4/24 in the third ODI win and for which he was named the Player of the Series as well.
The form Hardik Pandya is in, he can very well prove to be the X factor for Rohit Sharma and his team in the upcoming Asia Cup 2022.