Irfan Pathan feels that Hardik Pandya has underperformed as an all-rounder for India. Pandya “hasn’t made that impact at the international level”, feels Irfan.

Subscribe to the Wisden Cricket YouTube channel for post-match analysis, player interviews, and much more.

One of the hotly debated questions in India’s 2024 T20 World Cup squad has been Pandya’s selection. A day after Sanjay Manjrekar left Hardik Pandya out of his T20 World Cup squad, Irfan Pathan has called for the Indian management to refrain from giving Pandya “that much priority as they have given him so far”.

Speaking on Star Sports, the official TV broadcaster of IPL 2024, Irfan said: “What I feel about Hardik Pandya is that Indian cricket needs to make it clear that they should not give him that much priority as they have given him so far, because we still haven’t won the World Cup.”

He added: “If you think you are a primary all-rounder, you need to make that kind of an impact at the international level. As far as the all-rounder is concerned he hasn’t made that impact at the international level, we are only thinking about the potential. We are getting confused between the IPL performances and the international performances. That’s a big difference.”

Pandya was ruled out midway through the 2023 ODI World Cup due to an ankle injury. He returned to cricket in the DY Patil Competition, an inter-office tournament, in February, before playing IPL 2024, where his form both as a captain and an all-rounder left a lot to be desired.

Previously, former India cricketer Praveen Kumar also questioned Pandya’s commitment towards playing for India, accusing the BCCI of giving preferential treatment to the all-rounder.

Speaking on those lines, Pathan emphasised India should “stop giving preferences to individuals” if they want to win ICC tournaments: “First of all, he needs to play throughout the full year. He cannot pick and choose. Indian cricket needs to stop doing that. Stop giving preferences to individuals, if you do that, you will not be winning major tournaments.

“What Australia has been doing for many years is that they are actually preferring the team game. Making everyone a superstar. Not one superstar, everybody is a superstar in the squad. If you don’t do that, you will not win big tournaments.”