File image Shubman Gill with Hardik Pandya.© AFP
India’s T20 captain Hardik Pandya could be given a break from the three-match series against Ireland starting August 18 as part of workload management in a busy year including the Asia Cup and the big-ticket ODI World Cup at home, BCCI sources said. Even Shubman Gill, who is now an automatic pick across three formats, could be rested keeping the global event in mind.
The 29-year-old Pandya is one of the key members of India’s ODI team and his all-round prowess adds necessary balance to the side and hence the team management and the national selection panel is expected to deal with him cautiously.
“Nothing is finalised yet and it will also depend on how Hardik is feeling after the one-dayers and T20s in the West Indies. There is travelling involved and only a short turnaround of three days before one flies from Florida to Dublin.
“With World Cup being of primary importance, one has to factor in his workload. Let’s not forget he will be Rohit’s deputy in the World Cup,” a BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
Pandya is expected to play a key role during India’s white-ball leg of West Indies tour where the team will play eight international games in 18 days in three Caribbean nations and the United States.
India play three ODIs and five T20Is against the West Indies in Bridgetown (Barbados), Tarouba (Trinidad), Georgetown (Guyana) and Florida (United States) between July 27 to August 13.
In Ireland, India play three T20s in a space of five days (August 18, 20 and 23) and if Pandya flies from USA to Ireland and then to India before jetting off to Colombo for Asia Cup, the workload will be immense.
When the workload is measured, even training sessions are taken into account — duration of batting or number of overs sent down while bowling.
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