Hardik Pandya is a rare breed in the Indian cricket. Apart from being the genuine pace bowling all-rounder that he is, Hardik Pandya is the only six-hitter in the Indian lower middle order at the moment. He is the only batsmen in the whole Indian white ball setup who can tear away the opposition attack from ball 1 which is the most important thing in modern day limited overs internationals.
He made a comeback to the Indian team after an injury layoff and owned the stage right away. He was instrumental in India’s series triumph in the T20 format to go with some eye-catching innings in the ODIs in a losing cause and he did all these as a pure batsman as he isn’t fit enough to bowl yet.
Hardik Pandya brings in a lot of balance to the side when he bowls but in the recently concluded Australian series, he played as a pure batsman and Virat Kohli said that Hardik Pandya should start bowling to fight for a spot in the longest format of the game.
He’s been outstanding. He couldn’t bowl and we knew he’s not going to bowl. But what we saw of him in the IPL, and the headspace that he’s in, you know – you can just see in his game – that he’s wanting to make the team win. But Test cricket is a very different challenge altogether and we need him to bowl. We’ve spoken to him about it
Though India didn’t win the test series in England and South Africa, they were utterly competitive throughout the series and Virat Kohli credits Hardik for the balance he brought in during those tours.
“We need him to bowl. That’s when he becomes that one guy who brings a lot of balance for us. If you’ve seen our cricket overseas as well, in South Africa and England, we were able to compete for longer periods through Test matches because of the fact that he brought a lot of balance in terms of his bowling. We’ve communicated that to him,” Virat Kohli concluded
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