The former Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar has opined that Hardik Pandya is going to be India’s gamechanger in the upcoming T20Is. The legendary batter has also expressed his wish to see the Baroda all-rounder bowl with the new ball.
Hardik Pandya has made his comeback to the Indian side against South Africa in the opening T20 game of the five-match series on Thursday. It was Pandya’s first international game since the previous T20 World Cup. The destructive all-rounder made an impactful return to the national colors as he smoked unbeaten 31 runs off 12 deliveries, including three maximums. However, Pandya could not make much of an impact with the ball as he went for 18 runs in the only over he bowled.
Now, former cricketer-turned-commentator, Gavaskar has stated that Hardik Pandya will be immensely vital for Team India in the T20Is going forward.
“He will be India’s gamechanger in all upcoming games, not just the World Cup” – Sunil Gavaskar on Hardik Pandya
“I believe he will be a game-changer for India in all coming games, not just the World Cup, but in every game that India performs, regardless of whether he bats at No. 5 or bowls at the first or second transition. I genuinely would like to see him with the new ball now and then,” said Sunil Gavaskar in a conversation on the Star Sports.
Earlier former India head coach Ravi Shastri also talked about Hardik Pandya and his bowling ability for the Indian team.
“He is massive and does the work of two players. Hardik Pandya as a batter would have to bat in the top four or five, but as an all-rounder, he can bat at five, six, or four and still bowl those two-three overs for you. The difference is enormous, and it shifts the entire balance of power in India’s favour. With Hardik doing both, India is the much bigger squad. When Hardik does both, he is the much-improved cricketer. So you would like to see him fit for the World Cup, and there are encouraging signs in the IPL,” quipped Ravi Shastri while underlining Hardik’s importance in the upcoming T20 games.