India recently announced their 15-member squad for the ICC World Cup 2019, which will be held in England.
While India do have a star-studded side, one of the lethal weapons in their arsenal is all-rounder Hardik Pandya.
He is known for his wicket taking abilities, and most importantly, his explosive batting.
But can he be India's trump card in the mega event? We decode.
Pandya proved himself once again in IPL 2019 when he smashed a brilliant 34-ball 91 in the match against Kolkata Knight Riders, last Sunday.
While he failed to steer his side home, his innings certainly helped Mumbai avoid an embarrassing defeat.
This has got the cricket analysts taking that if he can do the same in England?
As far as his IPL 2019 performance goes, he has been lethal with the bat, scoring 380 runs from 13 innings at a healthy average of 47.50 and strike-rate of 198.95.
Talking about his bowling, he has been expensive, while claiming 12 wickets from 13 matches at an average of 29.50.
Nonetheless, if he continues to fire in one department, it would be enough.
In case one remembers, Pandya breakthrough came during the ICC Champions Trophy in England in 2017.
He scored 105 runs in three innings, at an average of 52.50 and had the best strike-rate in the tournament of 194.44. He even scored a half-century.
Overall in England, he has scored 147 runs in eight ODIs at a decent average of 36.75, including a half-century.
However, if we analyze his ODI form of late, it has been shaky.
In the last 10 ODIs, he has scored just 112 runs in six innings at a poor average of 18.66. He has no half-centuries.
Moreover, he has delivered a mediocre performance with the ball, claiming nine wickets in the past 10 matches at an average of 44.
Considering Pandya's explosive batting, he first displayed his ability against Pakistan in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, where he smashed a 43-ball 76 in a losing cause.
It was followed by a 66-ball 83 against Australia later that year, smashing five boundaries and sixes, as India won the match.
The innings made him an instant crowd favorite and a regular in the team.
While it is ideally incorrect to predict ODI performance based on T20s, he seems to be in good touch.
Furthermore, he has mostly clicked while playing in England.
Thus, going by the current form he is enjoying, he is likely to make an impact during World Cup.
It would be of no surprise if he turns out to be India's trump card.
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