Ravi Shastri, a former Indian head coach, has made the audacious prediction that all-rounder Hardik Pandya would give up playing one-day international cricket after the completion of the World Cup in India in the year 2023.
During the white-ball portion of the Men in Blue’s tour to England, the all-rounder from Baroda was simply phenomenal for the team. Pandya is undoubtedly the best seam-bowling all-rounder that India has at the moment when he is at the peak of his physical fitness. Having said that, Shastri believes that the all-primary rounder’s focus should be on competing in the shortest format.
What did Ravi Shastri say?
Ravi Shastri gave an interview to Sky Sports in which he discussed the number of players that might potentially retire from one-day internationals after Ben Stokes. He said:
“There are already players deciding which game forms they wish to participate in. Take Hardik Pandya. He has made it quite obvious that he just wants to play Twenty20 cricket in his head, and he has no interest in playing any other forms of the game.”
Shastri also discussed the reasons why Pandya could wish to keep playing till the World Cup the following year. He added:
“Because the World Cup will be held in India the following year, he has decided to play cricket in the 50-over format. After then, you may observe him leaving that format as well. You will see that the same thing happens with other players; they will begin selecting formats since it is entirely at their discretion to do so.”
Since Ben Stokes announced his retirement from One-Day International cricket due to his overbooked schedule, there has been much discussion on the future of the 50-over format in an environment where Tests and Twenty20s are also played. Former cricket players believed that the format will eventually go extinct.
About the ODI format:
Ravi Shastri, on the other hand, believes that the format might still maintain its usefulness if greater attention were paid to competing in the World Cup rather than only in bilaterals. He remarked that:
“The 50-over format could be delayed, but there is still hope for its continuation if attention is only paid to the World Cup. From the perspective of the International Cricket Council (ICC), the World Cups should be given the utmost priority; regardless of whether it is the T20 World Cup or the 50-over World Cup, the prize money should be raised. Because of the significance, it adds to the sport, test cricket will continue to exist indefinitely.”
Pandya’s workload has to be appropriately controlled by the administration and selectors of the Indian cricket team so that he may continue to provide value to the squad in both the batting and bowling departments.