Wasim Jaffer, a former test player for India, expressed surprise at stand-in captain Hardik Pandya’s decision to hand the ball to a rookie Shivam Mavi in the final two overs of the second T20I at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on January 5 despite having two more overs remaining in his allotment.
Jaffer was also perplexed as to why Hardik would not hand the ball to young left-arm bowler Arshdeep Singh after his two overs since the towering speedster had thrown five no-balls throughout the match. Arshdeep had, surprisingly, bowled a hat-trick of frontfoot no-balls. “I expected Hardik to bowl instead of Mavi in the death. Mavi hasn’t got a reputation of bowling well in the death. Hardik had that experience. I thought he would have bowled that 20th over,” said Jaffer while speaking on ESPNcricinfo.
“I was surprised, I thought he’ll come in and bowl after the sixth over. He’ll probably bowl one or two overs in the middle overs and then bowl in the death. Also, just giving two overs to Arshdeep, Hardik got it wrong there,” he added. Wasim Jaffer also questioned why Shivam Mavi, who had performed admirably in the series opener in Mumbai, did not receive the new ball. Shivam Mavi finished with match-winning bowling statistics of 4/22 from his four overs at an economy of 5.5 in his international debut.
“Since Shivam Mavi did so well in the first game, why didn’t he bowl with the new ball? You could probably give Arshdeep the third or fourth over. Still unacceptable what Arshdeep did. But I think Hardik should have trusted Mavi.” In the second game, Shivam Mavi had a typical day, going without a wicket and giving up 53 runs at a miserable economy rate of 13.25. Sri Lanka finally won by 16 runs to tie the series at 1-1. On January 7, the third and final T20I will be contested at Rajkot.