Hardik Pandya has evolved as a match-winner, opines Sourav Ganguly
What’s the story?
Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has heaped praise on Hardik Pandya and said that the all-rounder has developed into a match-winner for India. Also, he said that Pandya's growth as a player over the recent past has been a big positive for the national team.
"India dominated the series in all aspects against Australia, except a few blemishes here and there. The biggest plus for me has been Hardik Pandya. He has shown progression in his game and in the last few months has evolved as one more match-winner," Ganguly opined in his Times of India column.
Watch: Hardik Pandya demolishes Sri Lanka; scores maiden test century
The current CAB president also spoke about Pandya's temperament and said that he has shown good promise and mental strength when confronted with a tricky situation.
Ganguly also mentioned that he needs to keep channelizing this approach at all times and needs to keep progressing with both bat and ball.
Writing about Ajinkya Rahane, the former captain said that the Mumbai man grabbed all his opportunities at the top and thus he must have felt the pinch at being left out of the T20I squad.
He also advised the Indian management to keep Rahane in the loop since he brings a lot of value at the top of the batting line-up.
In case you didn’t know…
Hardik Pandya was the pick of the Indian players during the just-concluded ODI series against Australia, where he was adjudged the man of the series. He scored 222 runs in 5 games at an average of 55.50, and also picked 6 wickets at an economy rate of 6.06.
Rahane, on the other hand, was prolific at the top of the order as he scored four consecutive half-centuries. Despite this, he was axed from the T20 squad.
Pandya's performances will be closely monitored in the series against New Zealand and then in the Test series against Sri Lanka.
He might render the right balance to the Indian squad when Kohli's men embark on their overseas trips next year.
There is little doubt over the potential of Hardik Pandya and he has displayed remarkable promise across all the three formats recently.
However, his biggest test will be when the Indian team takes on South Africa at the beginning of next year where he will be expected to play the role of a seaming all-rounder.