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Hardik Pandya needs some muscle on his body: Salman Butt feels all-rounder’s fragile physique hampering his progress



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Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt feels that Hardik Pandya’s body, in its present state, is too weak to shoulder the workload of an all-round player. According to Butt, the Indian cricketer is undoubtedly talented, but will need to work extremely hard on building his physique.

Hardik Pandya has bowled sparingly since returning to international cricket following a back surgery in 2019. He has even lost his place in the Test team due to his inability to bowl his medium pacers on a consistent basis.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Butt shared his views on Hardik Pandya and stated:

“India had high hopes from Hardik Pandya, but he has been on a long layoff period. He looks very skilful when he bats. And when he was bowling before injury, he looked very effective with decent pace. But again, Hardik Pandya’s problem is that he is so slim, if there is extra load on his body, he will keep getting unfit.”

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“He needs some muscle on his body. Skill-wise, he has a lot of capacity to become better and better. The way he bats and bowls… he has a very good bowling action. But again, his body cannot take the excess workload. That is what needs to be managed.”

Butt cited the examples of Kapil Dev and Imran Khan to explain why it is important to have a strong body structure to fulfil all-round duties. The former Pakistan batter added:

“If you compare Hardik Pandya with Kapil Dev or Imran Khan, they were far fitter than him. You can watch their YouTube videos. They were double in size, and had more muscle. I don’t know if there is any issue with Hardik Pandya’s physique. The physios and trainers must be definitely talking to him about it.”

IPL 2021 will give us a fair idea of Hardik Pandya’s progress as bowler: Paras Mhambrey

Recently, National Cricket Academy (NCA) bowling coach Paras Mhambrey said that IPL 2021 would provide a decent idea of the extent to which Hardik Pandya can be utilised as a bowler, especially with the T20 World Cup coming up.

Speaking to IANS, Mhambrey said about the Mumbai Indians’ fast bowler:

“Yes, the way I look at him, and the way I feel, I am sure he will bowl (in IPL). First step is the IPL. Maybe the franchise will decide how will they use him. That, kind of, will decide how it will be (a) preparatory ground for the World Cup.”

In the white-ball series in Sri Lanka last month, Pandya bowled 14 overs in three ODIs, picking up two wickets at an average of 48.5 and an economy rate of 6.92. He also sent down two overs in one T20I.