Team India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has grown from strength to strength and is currently one of the best all-rounders across the globe. Pandya played his first 50-overs World Cup in England and had an average outcome. But former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan feels the cricketer will India’s X-factor in the World T20 next year in Australia.
The Baroda all-rounder first caught the eye with an unbeaten 31-ball 61 for Mumbai Indians against Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2015. But a more consistent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy paved his way to the Indian team. Since then, he has been one of the significant contributors for the Men in Blues.
Hardik Pandya had to struggle with injuries throughout the World Cup in England. Post India’s exit, the dynamic all-rounder has revealed that he has shifted his focus to the World T20 in Australia next year. Pandya also stated that he will add more facets to his arsenal to improve his game.
India will hope to bring their first World title since 2007 and former India cricketer Zaheer Khan feels Hardik Pandya will be crucial to India’s chances. He also added that Pandya has improved his batting a lot which make him a more impactful player.
“Hardik has spent enough time working towards it (power-hitting). First and foremost, he is someone who likes hitting a lot of balls in the nets and work towards achieving consistency in his power-hitting. Over and above that, you have got to have the basic power-hitting ability, which he has. The practice makes it perfect,” Zaheer told.
Furthermore, Zaheer Khan said that Hardik Pandya will add more balance to the team considering that he give India the luxury to play an extra batsman or a bowler. Pandya has also worked on his bowling and can four overs in a T20I game.
“He does change the balance of the team, and that’s the balance which we were talking about. So, if a team has that kind of option, it really gives the side the luxury to play an extra bowler or an extra batsman. You can use his services as just a pure batsman and then add a specialist bowler, or you can just look at him as someone who will give you those four overs. And then play an extra batsman,” Zaheer concluded.
Hardik Pandya was a part of the recently concluded T20I series against South Africa. However, he is not a part of the Test set-up and will hope to use that period to work on his skills.