Hardik Pandya has been the biggest find of Indian cricket in last 18 months. The Mumbai Indians all-rounder who was considered as a bits and pieces player has matured into a specialist all-rounder. With two fifties and five wickets in the last three matches in the ongoing series versus Australia, Pandya has set the stage on fire. Pandya once said that he wants to be the Jacques Kallis of India while captain Virat Kohli wants him to be Ben Stokes and, if the words of legendary Indian skipper Kapil Dev are anything to go by, Pandya might just turn out to be that special player.
The 1983 World Cup winning captain, in a recent press conference, said that Pandya is actually better than him. “Hardik Pandya is better than me. But he has to do a lot of hard work. It is still too early. We should not create unnecessary burden on him. He has the talent and ability to be a great player,” Kapil said during a press conference, according to a report by CNN-News 18. India’s hunt to find a fast-bowling all-rounder has been on ever since Kapil Dev hung up his boots and Hardik Pandya looks like the answer to that problem.
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Yesterday, another former Indian skipper Rahul Dravid praised Pandya by saying that he has turned his career around by playing just as the situation demanded in the ongoing series against Australia. Dravid, who was Pandya’s coach during an India A tour of Australia last year, hoped that the current India A players are able to emulate Pandya’s batting approach.
“A good example about Hardik from my perspective is, he’s willing to play situations and not just the natural game we often speak about. Credit goes completely to him. It’s not about playing just the one way you want to play,” he said on the sidelines of India A’s unofficial Test against New Zealand A in Vijayawada. “He’s the one who has actually turned his career around,” Dravid was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.com.