The selection committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is debating whether or not to include an extra pacer in the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup. The panel, directed by Chetan Sharma, is concerned about Hardik Pandya’s lack of bowling in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).

Pandya played five games in the IPL’s UAE leg but didn’t bowl a single over because his management was concerned that it would impact his batting. He has been selected as an all-rounder for the T20 World Cup, and the selectors have stated that he is fit to bowl. Since the IPL, the scenario has marginally shifted. The BCCI selectors have till October 15 to make changes to the roster, since the ICC has given countries a one-week window to change their original lineup.

In the primary squad of 15, India is missing at least one fast bowler. Shardul Thakur, who is also a useful bowling all-rounder, and Deepak Chahar, who has demonstrated his batting prowess in Sri Lanka in the stand-byes, are two experienced campaigners.

According to Onmanorama, a senior BCCI insider said, “So in case Hardik is unable to bowl, one of the two can be fitted in by the Committee.” During the white-ball series against Sri Lanka, Hardik Pandya bowled a few overs. The all-rounder seems to have recovered from his back problems. The 28-year-old is crucial to the team’s balance, and MI suffered as a result of skipper Rohit Sharma’s inability to deploy him as the team’s fifth bowling option.

If the selectors believe Pandya won’t be able to play only as a batter during the T20 World Cup, Thakur and Chahar are available as backups. However, Yuzvendra Chahal’s inclusion in the team in place of Varun Chakravarthy is now uncertain.

“The only way Yuzi can play is if Varun Chakravarthy, who has bad knees, is ruled out by the Indian team’s support staff. Selectors can choose him from the reserve list so that if Chakravarthy’s health becomes an issue, he can be drafted”, the BCCI insider stated.