Former Indian batsman Virender Sehwag has heaped praises on all-rounder Hardik Pandya and has said that there is no other player who even comes close to his talent. Sehwag also said that there is no other three-dimensional player like Hardik Pandya.
“There is no one even closer to Hardik Pandya’s talent with both bat and ball. If there was someone even closer to him, the three-dimensional players picked by BCCI, were even closer to him, Pandya would not have made it back into the team,” Sehwag told Cricketnext.
Pandya, despite missing the home series against Australia due to a back issue, was in full flow during IPL and performed well with bat and ball. He also got a man of the match award for his bowling performance against Kolkata Knight Riders and showed clear signs that he will be shouldering the pace bowling duties in England during World Cup 2019.
With the bat, he provided finishing touches in almost every match he played. Pandya scored 402 runs in 15 innings with a strike-rate of 191.42. His usage of the crease was one thing that left everyone impressed.
Pandya was standing deep inside his crease, outside off-stump, thus creating extra time to face a ball and also leaving bowler to ponder where to bowl. He is an automatic selection in every match that India play at the World Cup 2019.
He will be assisted by another pace-bowling all-rounder Vijay Shankar, who made it to the team after the former was suspended earlier this year. With Pandya in the side, it might be difficult for Shankar to make it to the playing XI but he can be a regular member of playing XI if the team management decides to make him bat at number four. Otherwise, Vijay Shankar might find it difficult to be in the playing XI.
There can be occasions when Pandya might have to perform the role of fourth seamer during the World Cup as well. There is no fourth seamer in India’s World Cup squad and in case any bowler misses a match, Pandya will have to deliver his full 10 overs.
India kick off their World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5. Prior to that, Men in Blue will take on New Zealand and Bangladesh warm-up matches on May 25 and 28 respectively.