Off The Field

‘Like Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya also wants the big occasions’: Dinesh Karthik

Written by Rohit Pawar

Hardik Pandya’s rapid rise as a leader in the Indian cricket team has a lot to do with his urge to take up the tough assignments, feels veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik. Yes, Hardik has been excellent with both bat and bowl since recovering from his back injury and it is very hard to find his replacement in white-ball cricket but it is his eagerness to do the hard task and stand up as the leader, which has been the most impressive.

Hardik has started to take up the same responsibilities even as captain India’s T20I team. He more often than not takes the new ball in T20Is as India are missing the services of Jasprit Bumrah and have decided to give a break to Mohammed Shami. He bats at No.5 to be the glue between the top-order and lower-order.

“I think this (taking on the tough assignments) comes naturally to him. From whatever I’ve seen, he lives for those big games. After Virat (Kohli), if I’ve seen someone who wants those big games, I think it is Hardik Pandya. I think you’ll have to put (Jasprit) Bumrah on that list as well but among the batters, I’d say Hardik Pandya loves the big occasion. That’s why you won’t see him too flustered about how he goes about his batting consistency. When it comes to bowling as well, he is somebody who wants to fill in those holes. If it is the middle overs, he will come up with the slower ones. If it is with the new ball, we saw in the Indore ODI as well that he can bowl really well with the ball,” Karthik said on Cricbuzz.

Hardik, however, did not have the best of games in the series-opening T20I against New Zealand in Ranchi, which India lost by 21 runs. The all-rounder gave away 33 runs in his 3 overs and got out for 21 off 20 at a crucial juncture in India’s chase.

About the author

Rohit Pawar

An Independent I.T. Security Expert, Geek, Blogger & Passionate Programmer.