Former India pacer, Zaheer Khan has opined that once Hardik Pandya resumes bowling, he will become a great asset for team India as the all-rounder will provide the much-needed balance to the team.
Hardik Pandya has been in outstanding form since returning from his injury in the IPL. Pandya averaged 35 in the IPL and batted at a strike rate of 178- third highest of the tournament following Kieron Pollard and Jofra Archer. Finishes provided by Pandya and Pollard were a vital factor in Mumbai Indians winning their fifth title.
He has carried that form into international cricket during the ODI series against Australia. Pandya was the leading run-scorer for India in the 3-match ODI series in Australia. The right-hander scored 210 runs at a strike rate of 114, winning the Man of the Match in the third ODI.
In the second T20I in Sydney, Pandya helped India chase down a target of 195 with his 22-ball 42. With 25 runs needed off the last two overs, the Gujarat-born batsman smashed Andrew Tye for two fours.
He muscled a couple of maximums in the last over against Daniel Sams to complete the victory as India take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series with a game to go.
Hardik makes sure that the bowler is under pressure: Zaheer Khan
While speaking on Cricbuzz Live, Zaheer Khan heaped high praise for Hardik Pandya. Zaheer Khan has observed that Hardik doesn’t panic even after conceding a few dot balls. Zaheer Khan pointed out that the right-hander has matured as he doesn’t look to slog every ball but instead picks his bowler and is confident in his big hits.
Zaheer Khan, who worked with Pandya during his time with Mumbai Indians feels that the all-rounder has created a reputation for himself as a power-hitter which puts the bowlers under pressure.
Talking with Cricbuzz, Zaheer Khan said, “He’s just so relaxed and not really frustrated by the dot balls if there are any at that stage. Just because of the belief he has. If he can hit six at any stage and he waits for that bowler to make that error. He makes sure that the bowler is under pressure.
“More and more he is going in his career, you know, he’s going to create a reputation like this which is going to be very hard for any bowler to deal with at that stage if he is at the crease.”
The 42-year-old Zaheer Khan opined that whenever Hardik resumes his bowling, he will become a great asset for the team. He advises Pandya to continue to work on his bowling as it will provide the balance to Virat Kohli’s side which they desperately are looking for.
“You know the kind of batting which he is doing, add his bowling to it and his fielding. And then, he is a great asset to have – a match-winner. Something which he should always consider to work on is his bowling and provide that kind of a balance to the side.
“He is definitely used this time at the moment to turn things around with regards to his batting. He is going in confidence and turning out to be a great impact player at this level,” Zaheer Khan added.