Hardik Pandya, once a bits and pieces player who was considered as a T20 specialist and now, India's biggest hope in the limited overs cricket. The youngster from Vadodara has been on a roll since making his India debut and at the moment, looks like team's answer to Ben Stokes and Angelo Mathews.
Hardik Pandya, once a bits and pieces player who was considered as a T20 specialist and now, India’s biggest hope in the limited overs cricket. The youngster from Vadodara has been on a roll since making his India debut and at the moment, looks like team’s answer to Ben Stokes and Angelo Mathews. India’s hunt for a genuine fast-bowling all-rounder goes back to the 90s after the former Indian skipper Kapil Dev hung up his boots.
The selectors tried a number of players in the role starting from Ajit Agarkar and Irfan Pathan to Abhishek Nayar and Rishi Dhawan. Some of them failed miserably while others faded away after showing initial promise. However, none of these players were able to show the kind of potential Pandya has in short international career. His performances even forced Kapil Dev to come out and say that Pandya is better than him but, the question is: is he really?
Well, the numbers only back Kapil Dev’s claim. After 26 ODIs, the former Indian captain had scored 472 runs while Pandya has already smashed his way to 530 runs in the same number of matches. Kapil Dev who was more of a bowling all-rounder has picked up 28 wickets in his first 26 ODIs, while Pandya who is still not considered a full-time bowler, has 29 wickets to his name.
We got many reasons to smile & so does India. Proud feeling! ???????? pic.twitter.com/ymp6JW7MiA
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) October 1, 2017
Kapil Dev was always considered an extraordinary fielder with the catch of Vivian Richards during World Cup final being the highlight of his career. However, he picked up 7 catches from his first 26 ODIs while Pandya has picked up 10. So, when it comes to the 50-over format, Pandya clearly has an advantage over the Indian legend.
Despite this, there are still doubts if the Mumbai Indians player can replicate these performances in the longer format of the game, especially with the ball. In the 3 Tests that Pandya has played so far, he has scored 178 runs including a century at an average of 59.33 and has picked up 4 wickets at an average of 23.75.
Hardik Pandya once said that he wants to be the Jacques Kallis of Indian cricket but even if he is able to become the Shane Watson or Dwayne Bravo, no one can stop team India from lifting the 2019 ODI World Cup in England.