Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. Pic Credits: Twitter

The legendary Australian batsman Matthew Hayden praised Hardik Pandya, saying the Indian all-rounder has improved greatly as a cricketer and that his capacity for composure under pressure is doing wonders.

Hayden made his remarks after Hardik made a spectacular 30-ball 71 not out in the opener of a three-match T20I series against Australia on Tuesday, September 20 in Mohali. 

When Hardik Pandya, who had recently returned from a protracted injury layoff, promoted himself to bat at No. 4 for Gujarat Titans, not many were convinced, but the Baroda star proved doubters wrong, according to Matthew Hayden, who recalled the scene from the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. 

Hardik Pandya (Image Credits: Getty Images)
Hardik Pandya (Image Credits: Getty Images)

Hardik Pandya Is Such An Adaptable Cricketer: Matthew Hayden

Hardik, according to Hayden, is one of the most flexible cricket players now playing, and his confidence has enabled him to develop into one of the best all-rounders in the game. 

“He has got the such great belief, talent is one thing, but trusting the fact you can be a match-winner and deliver on the day. We saw in the IPL that he batted at No. 4. We all thought ‘uh, how is he going to go about it?’. But he batted so well,” Hayden told Star Sports. 

“He is such an adaptable cricketer. He has grown a lot as a cricketer. The biggest thing is the belief in himself. His ability to be able to read the situation, know the pressure is there and then handle it and deliver, it’s taking him to new levels,” the former Australia opener said. 

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya Image Credits – Getty Images

Ever since he started playing again in competitive situations, Hardik has been in incredible form with both the bat and the ball. Pandya scored 487 runs in 15 games during Gujarat Titans’ successful IPL 2022 season before scoring 402 runs in 17 games with an astounding strike rate of 150+ and an average of above 35.

His total from 2022 is by far the most he has ever scored in the game’s shortest version in a calendar year. 

Against a strong Australian onslaught on Tuesday, Hardik executed the finisher’s job to perfection, smashing 5 sixes and 7 boundaries. 

Hardik Pandya Showing The Range Of Shots He Has: Sanjay Bangar

Former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar stated Hardik Pandya has concentrated on utilising both sides of the pitch in order to explain his improved bat skills. 

Bangar remembered Hardik’s early preference for the leg-side in international cricket as well as the mechanical improvements he made to develop into a potent big-hitter. 

Hardik Pandya (Image Credits: Getty Images)
Hardik Pandya (Image Credits: Getty Images)

“There came a time in his batting wherein he was only targeting on-side. He was literally covering the stumps, and kept targeting the on-side. He had literally shut down his off-side. 

“What he is doing now is, yes he is standing on the off-stump, but he is clearing his front foot and giving himself room to access both sides. That is where I think he has become such a destructive player.

IND vs AUS: Hardik Pandya's Self-belief, Ability To Handle Pressure Taking Him To New Levels: Matthew Hayden IND vs AUS: Hardik Pandya's Self-belief, Ability To Handle Pressure Taking Him To New Levels: Matthew Hayden IND vs AUS: Hardik Pandya's Self-belief, Ability To Handle Pressure Taking Him To New Levels: Matthew Hayden IND vs AUS: Hardik Pandya's Self-belief, Ability To Handle Pressure Taking Him To New Levels: Matthew Hayden

“Now, he’s just showing the range of shots that he has. That’s the beauty of his batting at the moment. He is able to access a lot of areas,” Bangar said. 

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