Sri Lanka vs India 2017: MSK Prasad draws comparison between Hardik Pandya and legendary Kapil Dev
Hardik Pandya's blistering maiden ton on the second day of the test match might just be the end of India's search for a genuine all-rounder.
What’s the story?
India’s fast emerging all-rounder Hardik Pandya hit an impressive ton against Sri Lanka on the second day of the test match to help the team post a good total. On a day when 15 wickets fell, Pandya’s aggressive batting style gave the team some much-needed impetus in the morning. His 108-run knock earned high praise from selector MSK Prasad who said that India’s search for a genuine all-rounder was finally successful.
“I am very happy to say that our search for an all- rounder has been successful in the form of Hardik. He has utilised the opportunity given to him and came out with flying colours,” Prasad said.
MSK Prasad even went on to draw comparisons of him being the next Kapil Dev. “If he stays grounded I am sure we will see him being compared to the legendary Kapil Dev in the times to come,” Prasad told PTI.
The second day for India started on a bad note as Sri Lanka removed Saha early on. Pandya, who kept losing partners at the other end, had just completed his half-century when the ninth wicket fell. As Umesh Yadav came in, Pandya decided to launch an all out offensive as lunch was pushed back another thirty-minutes.
In the last wicket stand of 66 runs, Pandya scored 50 off 61 balls to reach his maiden ton in tests.
Pandya’s century ensured that India started on a stronger footing when they came in to bowl and exploited the runs on the board to their advantage as the Sri Lankan team fell like nine pins.
The heart of the matter
Pandya’s ton is just a beginning and the youngster has a long way to go before he can be called an established all-rounder. These are positive signs and that has lead to a lot of praise from all quarters of the game for the young lad.
Pandya can very well fill up the all-rounder’s slot in the Indian team as he gives a nice balance to the whole squad.
India's search for a genuine all-rounder has finally reaped some results. While some might say that Jadeja fits in that role too, a seaming all-rounder definitely holds much more importance on away tours like South Africa, England and Australia.
With some fine-tuning in the bowling department and proper workload management, Pandya will turn out to be a key part of India's future plan
Pandya is young, ambitious, and incredibly athletic on the field. He’s a good addition to this Indian team that’s always raising its standards in each and every aspect of the game.
Pandya, however, still has to go through a steep learning curve if he is to achieve a status the likes of Jacques Kallis and Kapil Dev enjoyed. Hopefully, this was the first of many tons from the youngster and we’ll see his stocks rise from here on.
His biggest test will be scoring runs like he did today on pitches that swing and bounce. Till then, let’s just hold our horses and believe that he’s a good prospect who needs nurturing.