Legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev was one of the finest India has ever seen, the former captain bowled with flamboyant pace and batted with equal grace. His presence on the field has been missed in the Indian cricket team since his retirement in 1995. The 58-year-old cricketing genius is still hailed as one of the best all-rounders India had ever seen. His departure left a big void which was tried to be fulfilled by various players who came and went away but couldn’t do justice to the role. All-rounders have been a rare species in Indian cricket, there have been a few good ones but none complete. But in past few months, India seems to have got their man in Hardik Pandya, who has impressed on all fronts. The Mumbai all-rounder possesses qualities of an attacking batsman, a useful medium pacer and an athletic fielder moreover he has trained himself to become India’s reliable game-changer in difficult situations.

The promising youngster has earned praises from senior cricketers worldwide for his powerful mindset of taking the game forward. He has also gained the trust of skipper Virat Kohli who trusts him as his key factor in big games. His on-field exploits are a secret to none and without a doubt, he has perfectly donned the role of a genuine all-rounder in the current Indian setup. Not just Kohli and the team or fans, but also Kapil Dev thinks he is a revelation and is actually ‘better’ than the former Indian captain himself.

In a press conference while speaking to the media, the 1983 World Cup winner showered praises on Hardik, ”Hardik Pandya is better than me but has a lot of work to do. It’s too early and we should not create any unnecessary pressure on him. He is India’s future and has got the ability to be a star all-rounder, Kapil said.

Rightly mentioned by the legendary all-rounder that, Hardik is young and has a lot to prove in his career before he can be considered in the elite category of all-rounders. India has seen a few good all-rounders before who couldn’t carry the burden in both batting and bowling. Ravindra Jadeja is an example of a world-class rounder tumbling under pressure of continuing in two frays before focusing on his spin majorly.

Hardik Pandya has bumped onto the scene with some solid performances for the team, in the ongoing Australian series he was awarded the man of the match in the 3rd ODI for his phenomenal display with both the ball and the bat.

Pandya’s versatility makes him a quality asset for the team, his maturity has enhanced in recent times and that reflects on the field. The way he led the batting attack when Australia had sent back 5 Indian Batsmen on 87, with former captain MS Dhoni in the first ODI of the ongoing series, spoke volumes of the dedication and hard work he has put in his batting.

Expect more fireworks from the all-rounder when he takes the field against the Aussies today in the 4th ODI at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

First Published | 28 September 2017 8:44 AM
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