SincIndian cricket player Hardik Pandya bats during the first one-day international cricket match between India and Australia in Chennai, India, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
e the days when legendary player Kapil Dev made an entry, team India have always awaited for an all-rounder who is capable to hit the deck hard on bowling and slog the ball off the park on batting. Team India had a few of fast-bowling all-rounders in the past that showed many promises but couldn’t actually prolong their careers.
But Hardik Pandya seems to be from another breed who loves to take responsibility whenever he comes in the middle. With 5 wickets and two 50s in the past three matches in current series against Australia, Pandya has been the x-factor of India.
In recent time, his emergence has been felt so well that it urged the World Cup winning captain to admit that Pandya is the way better than him.
Kapil Dev admitted it during a press conference, “Hardik Pandya is better player than me but need to go a long way. It is too early to put unnecessary pressure on him. He has potential to become a legendary player.”
But in terms of all-rounder, Kapil’s record was still unbreakable during his days and it is still too early to compare both of them. But with such a high appreciation from Kapil, Pandya will surely build more confidence himself. Current A coach of India and former skipper Rahul Dravid also praised the all-rounder for showing such a great maturity these days.
Dravid added, “If he is batting at four or at six, he bats in a specific way. Next day, he may bat for 4 at 80, just like he did in initial ODI with Dhoni. It shows what you would like to see and it exudes maturity.”
“The idea behind playing natural game, something I used to hear all the time, annoys me as there is no such thing as ‘natural game’ for me. It’s just about how you play in various situations.”
Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Robin Singh, Sanjay Bangar, Reetinder Singh Sodhi, Joginder Sharma, Irfan Pathan, and Stuart Binny are the well known names among Indian cricket lovers. Those who have been the followers of the game over the last three decades would understand what these men were for cricket. They were the possible answer to the search for an all-rounder with medium pace bowling in Indian cricket.
India couldn’t replace Kapil Dev and struggled across the 90s as a result to find that balance in ODI side, ever so needed. None of these players could come around the genius in bowling. They were thinking to get the team some quick runs on the order and bowl a couple of overs without compromising so many runs.
The all-round skills of Pandya and his ability to hit big shots coincided well with waninig powers of Dhoni and Raina in the death overs and it gave a place to Baroda boy in WT20 squad. His moment of reckoning came against Bangladesh in must-win encounter when he finally got India out in a blow cold, blow hot final over.