Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan has claimed that Hardik Pandya is yet to find a place among the top-10 all-rounders. In a conversation with cricket.com, Irfan Pathan said Hardik Pandya is still not a match-winner for India like Ben Stokes is for England.
Former seamer Pathan, who also was tried as an all-rounder for a quite some time by India during his days, feels India still need to have an all-rounder who can win the matches for the country especially in the test cricket. He cited the example of the English all-rounder Ben Stokes who is undoubtedly is the numero uno all-rounder in the world cricket at the moment.
Ben Stokes has become No. 1 all-rounder in the world by winning matches for England. I wish for Team India to have an all-rounder who wins games for India. Yuvraj Singh was a kind of guy who was a match-winner. Having an all-rounder in the team is a different thing and I am talking about purely in Test cricket.
Irfan Pathan also justified his statement as many people would jump the gun that India now have Hardik Pandya in their roster.
Unfortunately, Hardik Pandya is not in top 10 in any format of the game for India. He has the potential, there is no doubt about it. If he has that calibre of an allrounder who can win matches for India, Indian cricket team will be invincible. The Indian cricket team is way better than the rest in the world.
Irfan Pathan told cricket.com. He went on to add further –
We have guys like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. We have such immensely talented cricketers like Mohd Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma. We have Ashwin, two wrist spinners and Ravindra Jadeja for that matter but if we have that one piece which can put everyone together- that’s an all-rounder. We have tried Vijay Shankar and some new would also come in future. I am simply saying India need a match-winning all-rounder.
He also quoted the respective performances of Ben Stokes and Kapil Dev in the World Cup to underline the importance of a class all-rounder.
Look, England won the World Cup because of that one all-rounder. England had other players in the team as well but one match-winning all-rounder took the team to another level. Why we still talk about the 1983 Indian Team, because it had Kapil Dev who won the matches singlehandedly. If he had not won the match singlehandedly against Zimbabwe, we might not have won the 1983 World Cup. That’s what I want. I want my Indian team to be invincible.
concluded Irfan Pathan.
In case you didn't know –
Ben Stokes has emerged as the best all-rounder in the world owing to his impactful performances across the formats. In 66 Tests, he has amassed a total of 4419 runs and clinched 165 wickets. He has a formidable record in ODIs as well. He has scored a total of 2682 runs and picked up 70 wickets in 95 one-day games so far.
Hardik Pandya, on the other hand, is comparatively new to the scene. He has a much younger cricket career comparing to Stokes. Pandya has only played 11 Tests, 54 ODIs, and 40 T20Is for India so far.