Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. Picture Credit: AP

Last Update on: September 17th, 2023 at 10:19 am

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Former India player, Sanjay Bangar showered praise on Hardik Pandya ahead of the Asia Cup 2023 final against Sri Lanka and said that the 29-year-old vice-captain provides a wonderful balance to the team when they are playing.

India are coming into this match after losing their previous encounter against Bangladesh by six runs in the sixth Super Fours match of the Asia Cup 2023. Since the Men in Blue already qualified for the final of the tournament before this game, so many first-team players were out of the team like Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Mohammed Siraj, and others.

The last time Sri Lanka faced India in the Asia Cup 2023 in the fourth Super Fours match of the tournament, Rohit Sharma-led Men in Blue won the match by 41 runs.

In the first inning, the 36-year-old Indian skipper played a 53-run knock to lead the side to a total of 213 runs. KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan also played an eye-catching inning to manage the middle order.

In the second inning, Kuldeep Yadav led the bowling attack to dismiss Sri Lanka at 172 runs. Kuldeep picked four wickets and gifted 43 runs. Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja also took two wickets respectively. On the other hand, Mohammed Siraj, and Hardik Pandya both scalped one wicket each.

While giving an interview to PTI, Sanjay Bangar applauded the vice-captain and said that he has matured in the last few years. The former India player added that Hardik Pandya had some injury problem in the past but now he has recovered from it.

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Hardik was also lauded for the way he took charge of the Men in Blue in the T20I format and Bangar said that the 29-year-old provides a healthy balance in the squad.

“He has matured a lot over the years. He had some setbacks in terms of his fitness but he has now worked hard to reach where he is now. He has shouldered the responsibilities very well, and is captaining India in T20s. He gives a lot of balance to the team being an all-rounder,” Sanjay Bangar said.

Hardik Pandya does give India a wonderful option with the ball: Sanjay Bangar

While talking about the upcoming ODI World Cup in India, the former player stated that India have a strong bowling lineup with big names like, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya and many others.

“We have one of the best attacks going into the World Cup. We have two fine new ball bowlers in Bumrah and Siraj, and then there is the experienced Shami. Kuldeep (Yadav) has so many variations, as he offers a wicket-taking option.

“(Ravindra) Jadeja too is around. As we spoke earlier, Hardik does give India a wonderful option with the ball. Overall, I think India has a strong and complete bowling line-up going into the World Cup,” he added.

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In the final match of the Asia Cup 2023, India will lock horns against Sri Lanka on Sunday (September 17th) at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.