Former Indian opening batsman Aakash Chopra has not been the first one to praise Hardik Pandya for delivering the much-needed X-factor for India in their ongoing tour of Australia. Hardik Pandya struck two half-centuries in six white-ball matches in Australia, including a match-winning 42 in the second T20I to win the game single-handedly. But Aakash Chopra warned that he alone cannot do the job all the time.
While Hardik Pandya displayed his heroics in the second T20I international in Sydney to help India chase 195 with two balls to spare, he failed on Tuesday in the third when the visitors needed 43 in the last three overs. The 27-year old got into the groove but perished in the 18th over to Adam Zampa. The task became insurmountable for Virat Kohli once Pandya departed and India fell 12 runs short of 185 eventually, handing the hosts a consolation victory.
The Baroda-born all-rounder has earned plenty of accolades in the current Australian tour. It was his first match for India since September 2019 and kept the men in blue in with a fighting chance in almost every game. Pandya hammered two of his highest ODI scores of 90 and 92* – the latter of which came in the third fixture that helped the tourists eke out a consolation victory by stitching an unbeaten partnership of 150 runs.
There is no better finisher in the world better than Dhoni, but he too needed someone: Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra reminded in India’s golden era of white-ball cricket; even MS Dhoni had Yuvraj Singh alongside him. The 43-year old hailed the former Indian skipper as the best finisher in the game; however, he needed someone beside him undoubtedly. The same way Hardik Pandya requires someone alongside him too and being the lone finisher, roles and responsibilities alter.
“If you look at India’s golden period in white-ball cricket, MS Dhoni had Yuvraj Singh with him. There is no better finisher in the world better than Dhoni, but he too needed someone. You cannot be a finisher all by yourself. And if you have just one – Hardik Pandya the finisher, then roles and responsibilities change a lot,” Aakash told Cricbuzz.