The 37-year-old India National Cricket Team wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik has lavished praise on the premier all-rounder Hardik Pandya, saying that the 29-year-old loves to face tough challenges and just like Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah, he thrives under pressure situations.
Under the leadership of Hardik Pandya, the India National Cricket Team lost the first T20I of the three-match series against the New Zealand National Cricket Team by 21 runs at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on Friday, January 27.
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Hardik didn’t have the best of games in the T20I series opener against the Kiwis. He went wicketless in his 3-over quota and conceded 33 runs as the BlackCaps posted a huge total of 176/6 on the board.
While chasing the target, Hardik failed to play a good knock as he scored a 20-ball 21, before being cleaned up by Michael Bracewell. The premier all-rounder will be looking forward to making a strong comeback in the second T20I, which will be played at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Sunday, January 29.
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I’d say Hardik Pandya loves the big occasion – Dinesh Karthik
The veteran wicketkeeper-batter feels that taking up tough assignments is something that comes naturally to Hardik. He said that Hardik is among the very few cricketers like Kohli and Bumrah, who thrive under pressure.
“I think this (taking on the tough assignments) comes naturally to him. From whatever I’ve seen, he lives for those big games. After Virat (Kohli), if I’ve seen someone who wants those big games, I think it is Hardik Pandya. I think you’ll have to put (Jasprit) Bumrah on that list as well but among the batters, I’d say Hardik Pandya loves the big occasion.
“That’s why you won’t see him too flustered about how he goes about his batting consistency. When it comes to bowling as well, he is somebody who wants to fill in those holes. If it is the middle overs, he will come up with the slower ones. If it is with the new ball, we saw in the Indore ODI as well that he can bowl really well with the ball,” Karthik said on Cricbuzz.
Also Read: IND vs NZ: “It Was Washington Sundar Against New Zealand Today” – Hardik Pandya After Losing 1st T20I In Ranchi
Virat Kohli | Rohit Sharma | Rishabh Pant | KL Rahul | Suryakumar Yadav | Sanju Samson | Shreyas Iyer | Yuzvendra Chahal | Jasprit Bumrah