"In 10 years' time, everyone is going to play like Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya" - Darren Gough

India won the 3rd ODI by 7 runs to seal the series 2-1
India won the 3rd ODI by 7 runs to seal the series 2-1
Modified 01 Apr 2021

Former England paceman Darren Gough has predicted that batting in the future will be based on the template which is currently being followed by the youngsters of Indian cricket. He further added that the blueprint of some of the stalwarts will soon be outdated.

Alluding to the fearless approach employed by the likes of Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant in the recently concluded England tour of India, Darren Gough claimed it will be the standardised style 15 years down the line. He also pointed out the method's contrasts with how the famed trio of Joe Root, Kane Williamson and Steve Smith go about their batting.

“In 10 years’ time, every player is going to play like that – Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya. So you better get used to it. That’s how everyone is going to play. You’ve seen the players – your Smith, Williamson, Root, who played according to the situation in certain an innings and expand right at the end with their strike rate,” Darren Gough said on talkSPORT.
“But the future is already here – Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer...all these guys, that’s the way everyone is going to play in 15 years’ time,” Darren Gough further added in this regard.

It was on the back of spectacular performances from these young guns that India had arguably their most memorable season. They won the T20I and Test series Down Under before defeating England in all three formats at home.

“That partnership between Pant and Pandya was so crucial” – Darren Gough on the 3rd IND-ENG ODI

Rishabh Pant (R) and Hardik Pandya (L) forget a fifth-wicket partnership worth 99 off 70 balls
Rishabh Pant (R) and Hardik Pandya (L) forget a fifth-wicket partnership worth 99 off 70 balls

The final game of India’s 2020-21 season was a great sample of what the future of cricket in the country will be like.

With India struggling at 157 for 4 batting first, Rishabh Pant (78 off 62) and Hardik Pandya (64 off 42) launched a counter-attack. The duo put on 99 off 70 balls for the fifth wicket and helped India reach 329. On the bowling front, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3 for 42) and Shardul Thakur (4 for 67) were the chief architects in restricting England to 322 for 9.

It was the Pant-Pandya partnership that impressed Darren Gough the most. He praised Pant for pulling off innovative strokes in a pressure situation and Pandya for backing himself to clear the rope every single time.

“India were disappointed when they went off with that score [329 all out in 48.2 overs]. That partnership between Pant and Pandya was so crucial for India, but the way they kept going was incredible,” Darren Gough exclaimed.
“There were no nerves. Pant was still trying to sweep doing the ‘Dil Scoop’ over his head, or stepping across the stumps and flicking over square leg, Hardik hitting sixes galore...I mean, Pandya just stands still, strong base and backs himself to clear the boundary. The future...right there,” Darren Gough explained.

The focus will now shift to IPL 2021, which commences on April 9. All these stars will light up the stage with more of such fearless batting, as they try to cement their places in the Indian side for the upcoming T20 World Cup in October this year.

Published 01 Apr 2021
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