Former Indian batter Wasim Jaffer reckons that all-rounder Hardik Pandya has the capability to better Kapil Dev’s record for the country in white-ball cricket. He, however, admitted that it is still too early to conclude that he would go on to become as great as Kapil.
Hardik was named the 'Player of the Series' following India’s ODI series win over England on Sunday (July 17) at Old Trafford in Manchester. In the deciding ODI of the three-match series, he claimed four for 24 with his pace bowling and contributed 71 off 55 with the willow.
The Baroda all-rounder was dropped from the Indian team following a poor T20 World Cup campaign last year. However, he earned a recall on the basis of a stupendous showing in IPL 2022, during which he also led the Gujarat Titans (GT) to victory in their maiden season.
Asked if Hardik could go on to register better numbers than Kapil in limited-overs cricket, Jaffer told ESPNcricinfo:
“Yes. He definitely has the capability (of bettering Kapil Dev's record in white ball cricket). Kapil Dev is a very big name. It is difficult to arrive at a conclusion so soon. But if he keeps bowling like this (it can happen). He already has the batting capability. If he plays for another 5-7 years, he could get close to Kapil's record.”
Hardik has scored 1386 in 66 ODIs at an average of 33.80. With the ball, he has claimed 63 scalps at an average of 38.69. Speaking of Kapil, he picked up 253 scalps in 225 ODIs at an average of 27.45 and scored 3783, averaging 23.79.
“Very good to contribute in all the departments” - Hardik Pandya
Hardik contributed with both bat and ball as India won the deciding ODI. His four-fer held England to 259. He then scored a brisk half-century and added 133 for the fifth wicket with Rishabh Pant (125*).
Speaking at the post-match press conference, the all-rounder spoke about his efforts:
"It is always very good to contribute in all the departments, I think that has given me a lot of confidence in the past, it adds more layers to my game and to my confidence.”
On the Men in Blue getting the better of the world champions on the latter’s home turf, the 28-year-old asserted:
"England have been fantastic throughout the last couple of years, everyone found England one of the best teams in the world. To come here and perform and win is important."
Hardik scored 100 runs at a strike rate of 101.01 in the ODI series and picked up six wickets at an average of 12.33.