Not Jasprit Bumrah or Rishabh Pant! Aakash Chopra picks Team India's most valuable white-ball player

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Jul 19, 2022, 05:56 PM IST


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After Team India won the England ODI series, Aakash Chopra picked the Rohit Sharma-led side's most valuable player in the shorter formats.

Rohit Sharma-led India ended a very successful tour of England on Sunday (July 17). After India lost a golden opportunity to win the rescheduled fifth and final Test, from 2021, versus Ben Stokes-led England, the visitors turned it around in the white-ball leg, beating Jos Buttler & Co. in T20Is as well as in ODIs (by 2-1 margin).

While the T20Is was easily pocketed by India, taking an unassailable 2-0 lead before losing the finale by 17 runs, the 50-over series lived upto expectations and went to the final ODI with the scoreline 1-1. In the third and final match, India dismissed England for 259 in 45.5 overs -- riding on Hardik Pandya's 4/24 -- before Hardik's 71 (55) and Rishabh Pant's 125 not out rescued India from 72/4 to take them to a stunning five-wicket series win in the tour finale.

After the end of the England tour, former Indian opener-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra picked India's most valuable white-ball player. The white-ball sides comprises several stars such as Rohit, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Pant, Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja Hardik, etc., however, Chopra picked the latter.

"Hardik Pandya - he has been absolutely stellar. One thing is getting proved that he is India's most valuable player in white-ball cricket. I don't think there is going to be anyone who is going to come close to him," Chopra said on his Youtube channel.

"If Hardik Pandya is fit, his replacement is not available. You will get many spin-bowling all-rounders in India, you get them easily, in different formats, but you don't get a fast-bowling all-rounder at all, it is not possible at all," Chopra added.

Hardik has been in sensational form since his return to competitive cricket, starting from IPL 2022. In the 15th IPL season, he led debutants Gujarat Titans (GT) to the mega title, with 487 runs and eight scalps overall, contributed with the bat in the home T20Is versus South Africa, led India for the first time during their 2-0 series whitewash over Ireland in the shortest format, in Dublin, won the Player-of-the-Match in the India-England first T20I and ended as the Player-of-the-Series in the ODis versus the Three Lions.