Former Indian opening batsman Aakash Chopra reckons that Hardik Pandya is soon becoming the most valuable white-ball cricketer for India. Hardik Pandya has enjoyed a stellar tour of Australia so far, having played vital roles with the bat to spark India’s resurgence. Aakash Chopra believes that Hardik Pandya’s holds the key to India’s chances at the T20 World Cup next year.
Hardik Pandya hammered two of his highest scores in ODIs when he scored and 90 and 92 runs in the first and third ODI respectively. The 26-year old carried his blistering form to the T20I series, which he won for India on Sunday. He stayed unbeaten at 42 off 22 balls in the second T20 international in Canberra as the tourists romped home by six wickets in a steep chase of 195. Pandya smacked two sixes in the last over in which India needed 14.
Aakash Chopra feels that Hardik Pandya is rapidly becoming India’s most valuable white-ball player and that his firing continuously is going to be crucial. The 43-year old even believes that the Baroda-born all-rounder would be more vital than the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Virat Kohli and could have a massive role to play when the T20 World Cup takes place next year.
“Hardik Pandya is fast becoming India’s most valuable player in white-ball cricket. His firing continuously is necessary. He is going to be more valuable than Kohli, Rohit, Bumrah. If India has to win the World T20, Hardik Pandya could be the one to play the biggest role in that,” Aakash said in a video shared on his Facebook page.
Now with Dhoni having left, there is no one: Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra pointed out that India has not won any ICC tournaments in the last few years despite the brilliance from the bat of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. The former Indian cricketer believes that earlier with MS Dhoni part of the team, he used to handle the finishing job. Hence, with the keeper-batsman now retired, India needs Pandya and they cannot win with Kohli, Rohit, and Rahul in the top three.
“To start with Hardik Pandya the batsman, India has not won the last few limited-overs World Cups. Our top-order has always been good, Rohit Sharma scored five centuries in one World Cup and Virat Kohli always scores runs. But why we don’t win the matches in the end? Earlier there was Dhoni who used to be left alone. Now with Dhoni having left, there is no one. If you have to win the next World Cup, there is no way you can win it with just Rohit, Rahul and Kohli in the top three,” he added.