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'Both Hardik, Venkatesh Can Be in Team'

By Rediff Cricket
February 23, 2022 17:19 IST
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Venkatesh Iyer

IMAGE: Venkatesh Iyer has made most of the opportunities he has had so far. Photograph: BCCI

The flamboyant Hardik Pandya had a lacklustre campaign in the previous T20 World Cup, which highlighted the need for an all-rounder.

Hardik's injury opened the doors for Venkatesh Iyer, who left his mark in the recent home assignment against the West Indies. Iyer picked up two wickets before scoring a quick-fire 35 in the final T20I of the series.

Will Iyer's rise put Hardik's place in jeopardy?

Aakash Chopra feels the Indian team will welcome a fit Hardik with open arms.

'The truth is Hardik is Hardik and when he comes, he will bowl and bat, you really want to welcome him with open arms. I am not saying that because of one doing well, the doors are getting closed for the other, Chopra, a former India opener, said on his YouTube channel.

'It is not necessary that only one out of Venkatesh or Hardik can play, both can play. Just think about it, if you have both Hardik and Venkatesh, Hardik gives you bowling and Venkatesh gives you one or two overs.'

The cricketer-turned-commentator also weighed in on Iyer's rise at the biggest level, saying the new entrant to the Indian team has made most of the opportunities he's had so far.

'Hardik -- as and when he is available, I don't think the team will tell him that Venkatesh is there now,' Chopra added. 'Both can happen, it's not either-or. Both can play together, in my opinion, especially in Australia.'

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