Hardik Pandya's rise as an all-rounder
Hardik Pandya has been in the news for a while, the reason may be his funky lifestyle or his attitude on the cricket ground. He has proved to be an X-factor the team required. Be it smashing the bowlers by his explosive batting, troubling the batsman by his variations or his electric fielding in the ground. Pandya has brought right balance to the Indian team.
Here's looking at Hardik Pandya's rise from virtually an unknown commodity to India's premier all-rounder across all formats:
#1 Initial Years(2013-2015)
After playing a vital role for Baroda in their Syed Mushtaq Ali Tournament clinch in 2014, he got a platform to showcase his talent on the stage of IPL 2015 where he earned his maiden contract with Mumbai Indians. It was a must-win match for MI to stay in the race of top 4 where he grabbed the attention of the world when he smashed 61 of 31 balls to take his team home.
#2 Budding Years (2016- Before CT 2017)
His performance in IPL 2015 earned him a national side call-up. He picked up two crucial wickets on his debut against Aussies on 26 Jan 2016. Later, he was chosen for Asia Cup and T20 WC where he stole the show by preventing Bangladesh from scoring two runs off three balls as India managed to win by one run. Later, he earned his ODI cap against Black Caps where he turned out to be Man of the Match.
#3 Golden Years (CT 2017- present)
It was Champions Trophy 2017 that truly showed the world his ability as an all-rounder at the international level. He emerged out to be India's second highest wicket-taker and fourth highest run-scorer. His innings of 43 balls 76 against arch-rivals Pakistan in the finals was a gem. He arrived at the crease in the situation when the score was 54/5, and all those big names were gone. The way he took the attack opponent's bowlers was a delight to watch. This was followed by his Test call-up for series against Sri-Lanka. He set-up the Indian record for most runs in a single Test over(26 runs). From there, he carried his merry way and became a regular in all three formats. Currently, he is a member of Indian Test Team playing in England. Recently, he scalped his maiden Test fifer in the Third Test against England.
It would be a bit hurry to compare him with the likes Kapil Dev and Jacques Kallis. But, he has the caliber to achieve a lot in his career.