Former West Indies pacer Michael Holding has clarified his controversial statement on Hardik Pandya after the India allrounder’s stunning show in the third England vs India Test.
In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, Holding had said that Pandya is not yet completely performing his role as an allrounder. He had also said that Pandya was “nowhere near” Kapil Dev. But the statement backfired as Pandya impressed with both bat and ball in his very next outing.
Pandya shut down his critics by taking his maiden five-wicket haul on day two at Trent Bridge to put India firmly on top. It took him only 29 balls to blow away England’s middle-order as India bowled out the hosts for 161. He then went on to score a run-a-ball 52 not out, helping India post 352 for 7 (declared) in the second innings. India had gone on to win the game by 203 runs.
Ever since Pandya’s all round performance, the fans have been busy trolling Holding on social media. And the legendary pacer has now clarified his statement.
“Please go back and listen to or read what I have said about Pandya. I was more critical of the people who were telling me he is the next Kapil Dev, not of Pandya himself. I have gone on to say that he is not the man to fill that sort of role as yet, batting at No. 6 and bowling. What I am glad also to see is that I read somewhere that he had said he doesn’t want to be known as the new Kapil Dev; he is Hardik Pandya, which is the right attitude,” Holding told The Times of India.
After his five-wicket haul, Pandya had said he does not want to be compared with the legendary Kapil Dev.
“The problem with this is you compare yes, but all of a sudden something goes wrong and they are like he is not that [Kapil Dev],” Pandya had said. “I have never wanted to be Kapil Dev. Let me be Hardik Pandya. I am good at being Hardik Pandya, reached here till now, I have played 40 ODIs and now 10 Test matches being Hardik Pandya, not Kapil Dev. They are great in their era. Let me be Hardik Pandya. Stop comparing me with anyone. I will be happy if you don’t.”
Holding, meanwhile, went on to criticise India’s use of Pandya.
“He (Pandya) only bowled 10 overs in the entire first Test (Edgbaston) and 17 in the entire second Test where the seamers on both teams were making the ball talk and batsmen were struggling. He got no runs in either of the first two Tests as well. He bowled a lot more in the third Test and maybe that is down to the fact that he got a wicket with his first delivery, which then convinced his captain to give him more overs than in the first two Tests,” said Holding.