Former South Africa captain Shaun Pollock feels Hardik Pandya will get an extended run in the international arena. The legendary player backs his reason by saying that skipper Virat Kohli loves the allrounder’s attitude.
Pandya has played all the games in the ongoing tour of South Africa despite failing to do well consistently. Expectations were sky high from Pandya after his impressive performances before his arrival to South Africa. After an impressive Champions Trophy, he was given his maiden Test cap.
The Baroda star went on to justify the decision by scoring a quick-fire fifty on his debut. In the third match, he bagged his maiden Man of the Match award in Tests after scoring 108 off 96 balls. He further enhanced his reputation with his brilliant performance in the five-match ODI series against Australia. He scored 222 runs and took 6 wickets to win his first Man of the Series award.
However, Pandya failed to live up to expectations on South African tracks. Barring the 93-run knock in the first innings of the opening Test, he has failed to make any significant contribution. In the next five innings, he managed to score only 26 runs. His performance with the ball was equally unimpressive as he managed to pick up just 3 wickets.
His poor form has continued in the ongoing ODI series too. However, Pollock believes Pandya is set for an extended run due to Kohli’s faith in him.
“I clearly get the impression that Virat Kohli loves Hardik Pandya’s attitude. It’s very similar to the way Kohli plays his cricket. And because he loves that attitude there is a good chance that Pandya will get a long run in the side, to settle himself and cement his spot in the team,” Pollock said on Wednesday (February 14).
“That’s the nature of cricket. If the captain likes the way a player goes about his business then that player will get an extra run (of opportunities),” added the former South Africa skipper.
Pandya showed a spark of brilliance in the fifth ODI by taking two important wickets. The all-rounder dismissed JP Duminy and AB de Villers as India successfully defended 274 to win the game and series.
Pollock further spoke on Pandya’s 93-run knock.
“I liked Pandya’s attitude and approach in the Cape Town Test, the way he played that knock, and he is learning. He will be ultra-positive in Indian conditions where he can take on the spinners. Lot of people have got potential, but to take that to the next level is always the key,” he said.
The legendary bowler also backed Pandya to learn the tricks of bowling in different conditions with the passage of time.
“He will learn the art of what he needs to do in England and Australia. He still needs to find how he wants to play, mix his aggression with sound technique and if he can get himself in for a period of time then I am sure he can learn,” he said.
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