Rohit Sharma: Hope Hardik is ready to do what team expects from him

Besides bowling a short spell during the second ODI against Australia in 2020, Pandya has played as a specialist batsman, including in the last IPL.

Pandya underwent back surgery in October 2019.   -  AP

India vice-captain Rohit Sharma expects Hardik Pandya to contribute substantially with the ball in the T20 series against England, having seen him do "everything he could" to get back to his best following back surgery in 2019. Besides bowling a short spell during the second ODI against Australia in 2020, Pandya has played as a specialist batsman, including in the last IPL.

He was with the Test team during the recent England series and Rohit feels that helped Pandya get ready for his responsibilities in white-ball cricket. "Of course, he has been an integral part of the squad. He has been working on his bowling and batting, trying to sharpen that skill. It's been a good month and a half that he's been with the team to get ready for this limited-overs series," Rohit said ahead of the first T20 on Friday.

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"He's done pretty much everything, so it seems that time has come for him to get ready and start doing what he does. He's worked hard on his bowling and batting in these last few weeks. I hope he's ready to do what the team expects from him."

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Understanding the game

The in-form Rishabh Pant is making a comeback to the T20 side following his exploits in Test cricket, and Rohit sees the southpaw building on his recent success in the longest format.

"He can go from strength to strength. There is no looking back for him. So far, he has done exceptionally well from Australia to the home series against England recently," he said.

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"The good thing about his game right now is he is starting to understand the game situation." The 23-year-old had scored a breathtaking 101 to help India win the fourth Test against England by an innings and 25 runs.

"He can go from strength to strength from here. He has looked very good in keeping, approach or batting in all three departments," Rohit said.