Saba Karim Doubts Whether Hardik Pandya Was Fit Before Being Selected In India’s 2021 T20I World Cup Squad

Saba Karim, the former Indian selector, and former wicketkeeper is confused by the niggle that all-rounder Hardik Pandya is said to be carrying. Saba Karim finds it difficult to understand how the Baroda all-rounder Hardik Pandya was selected in India’s 15 men T20 World Cup squad if he was unfit. The rules laid down, according to Saba Karim, state that a player has to prove his fitness at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), and only then can they get selected for the Indian team. But if an injury or niggle takes place after their selection, then doubts arise whether the aforementioned

Saba Karim Doubts Whether Hardik Pandya Was Fit Before Being Selected In India’s 2021 T20I World Cup Squad

Saba Karim, the former Indian selector, and former wicketkeeper is confused by the niggle that all-rounder Hardik Pandya is said to be carrying. Saba Karim finds it difficult to understand how the Baroda all-rounder Hardik Pandya was selected in India’s 15 men T20  squad if he was unfit.

The rules laid down, according to Saba Karim, state that a player has to prove his fitness at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), and only then can they get selected for the Indian team. But if an injury or niggle takes place after their selection, then doubts arise whether the aforementioned player was fit when he was selected.

Saba Karim (Source: Twitter)

Saba Karim Doubts Whether Hardik Pandya Was Fit Before Being Selected In India’s 2021 T20I World Cup Squad

Speaking on the YouTube channel “Khelneeti”, Saba Karim had to say about Hardik Pandya that the rule to prove fitness applies for everyone.

“He (Hardik) is a big player. But the question now is when he was selected for the Ind team, was he fully fit or not? If he was fit then it is justified. But if not, then when did this niggle happen? If he was carrying that injury then why was he selected? The general rule is – you have to prove your fitness and go to NCA and come back. This rule applies to everyone. So, the question is right but we don’t know what has exactly happened with Pandya.”

Hardik Pandya Image Source : GETTY
Hardik Pandya Image Source: GETTY

The younger Pandya brother largely failed to hit a big knock in the first leg of IPL 2021. In 7 matches, he scored 52 runs in 6 innings averaging a pathetic 8.66. The duo of Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya missed out on the match against CSK which was played in Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

While Rohit Sharma returned in the second match against KKR, Hardik Pandya was absent as Shane Bond insists that the franchise is also looking at the needs of the Indian team when managing the workload of all-rounder Hardik Pandya. Hardik Pandya has not played both the games against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the ongoing UAE leg of IPL 2021.

Saba Karim Doesn’t Think Selectors Made A Mistake By Selecting Ishan Kishan

Players like Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav have not been able to score consistently in the IPL 2021 season so far. On being asked whether the Indian selectors made a mistake by naming them in the 15-man squad, Saba Karim said the fans need to be patient with such players.

“I don’t think the Indian selectors made a mistake my selecting Ishan Kishan. When he was scoring runs against England, we were saying his selection is right. So such a phase comes. We react too early and become judgemental. It is a huge challenge to be consistent in T20s. As cricket fans we need to stay patient with players like Ishan and Suryakumar,” Saba Karim concluded.

Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan - SPORTZPICS
Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan – SPORTZPICS

Saba Karim understands the difficulty of being consistent in the T20s and believes both Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan will come good sooner rather than later.

Ishan Kishan was the top run-getter for Mumbai Indians in the 2020 season, scoring 516 runs at an average of 57.33, and later went on to make his T20I and ODI debut where he scored the fifties. But in IPL 2021, he has only 98 runs to his name in 7 games averaging only 14 so far.

Suryakumar Yadav excelled in his role as an opener and scored over 500 runs in 2018, including four fifties. In IPL 2019, he amassed 424 runs to be MI’s second-highest run-getter. He outperformed himself in the 2020 season scoring 480 runs at a strike rate of 145 and went on to make his T20 International debut later for India. Suryakumar Yadav has so far 181 runs in 9 IPL games in IPL 2021 averaging a below-par 20.11.

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Perth May Not Be Able To Host 5th Ashes Test Due To COVID-19

Perth might not be able to host the forthcoming fifth Ashes Test due to Covid restrictions. Optus Stadium in Perth may not be able to host the fifth and final match of the Ashes series in January next year as a surging Covid-19 pandemic is seeing border controls. Serious doubts are raised on whether the Optus Stadium in Perth would be able to host the fifth and final match of the Ashes series in January next year as a surging Covid-19 pandemic is seeing border controls being implemented more strictly. Perth Test: Cricket Australia Will Find It Difficult To Stage

Perth May Not Be Able To Host 5th Ashes Test Due To COVID-19

Perth might not be able to host the forthcoming fifth Ashes Test due to Covid restrictions. Optus Stadium in Perth may not be able to host the fifth and final match of the series in January next year as a surging Covid-19 pandemic is seeing border controls.

Serious doubts are raised on whether the Optus Stadium in Perth would be able to host the fifth and final match of the Ashes series in January next year as a surging Covid-19 pandemic is seeing border controls being implemented more strictly.

Optus Stadium, Perth, (Photo: IANS)

Perth Test: Cricket Australia Will Find It Difficult To Stage A Test At Perth

West Australia has taken stringent measures to control the Covid-19 pandemic and is unlikely to open its borders to New South Wales and Victoria this year-end and possibly the beginning of next year.  Mike McKenna, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Optus Stadium — the venue for the fifth Ashes Test from January 14-18 — said that “there’s no way the summer could go ahead as scheduled in the current climate”.

“But I think the COVID situation even now would make you question that scheduling (of the Ashes Test). The direction they’re going in, it’s going to be very difficult for Cricket Australia to try to find a program that’s going to work easily. They’re no doubt thinking about that now,” McKenna told SEN’s Dwayne’s World on Thursday.

Perth stadium CEO Mike McKenna
Perth Stadium CEO Mike McKenna (ABC News: Jacob Kagi)

“Right at the moment, it would not be possible to bring a team from New South Wales where they’re playing a Sydney Test to Perth, it just would not happen the way things are going. These things change, I think Cricket Australia is going to spend some time having a look at that.”

While Mike McKenna said that though Perth Stadium could be in doubt to host any fixtures, the “Optus Stadium would be happy to help out Cricket Australia if they were forced to move forthcoming Tests from other venues pending COVID restrictions”.

“We’re ready to help Cricket Australia should they need to move Tests from other venues. But, who knows what the situation will be here, in Queensland or where South Australia might be by that part of the summer. We’re only hoping that we stay clear of COVID, but at some stage West Australia will have to make some decisions about borders and opening up to COVID. Who knows what that all looks like and when,” he said.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there won’t be any kind of special arrangement for the visiting England team that will tour the country in December for the Ashes. The historic Ashes series has been under an ambivalent situation as England players remain sceptical and they also sought more clarity from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) regarding the travel restrictions in Australia.

Ashes 2021/22 Will See 5 Tests Starting On December 8, 2021, And Ending On January 18, 2022

At this stage, the first Test match between Australia and England is scheduled to begin on December 8th at The Gabba in Brisbane. From thereon the sides will meet in Adelaide, before moving to Melbourne for the annual Boxing Day Test and Sydney for the New Year’s Test. The Ashes Test series will conclude in Perth, with the final match beginning on January 14th.

England(AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)
England (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

 

DATE VENUE
December 8-12 The Gabba, Brisbane
December 16-20 Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
December 26-30 Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
January 5-9 Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
January 14-18 Perth Stadium, Perth

Australia is the defending holders of the Ashes going into the series, having won in 2017–18 with the 2019 Ashes series ending in a draw. The series will be part of the 2021–2023 ICC World Test Championship. As many as 10 England players could be forced to pull out of the Ashes tour of Australia if an agreement is not arrived at over travel and quarantine arrangements for their families.

Australia has some of the strictest COVID-19 quarantine regulations in place. England’s multi-format players, such as Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Mark Wood, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, and , wouldn’t be willing to spend up about four months away from their families as they will fly to Australia straight from the UAE, where the T20 World Cup will be held. Some of those will also participate in the second half of the IPL 2021. There is also a prospect of a postponed Ashes tour.

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