Hardik Pandya, the Indian allrounder who can bowl quick. A guy who can surprise anyone with his powerful hitting or bowling with extra pace. He is an IPL product throughout, debuting for Mumbai back in 2015.
Once upon a time back in 2003-04, India had Irfan Pathan as an upcoming fast bowling allrounder. The Baroda guy started well with swing bowling but couldn’t keep his bowling in check when started to concentrate a bit more on batting. He was in and out of the side for a long time after good two to three years. The Indians struggled since to have a No.7 who can play a cameo at the end and bowl 7-8 overs in the middle.
Back in 2015 during a lucrative IPL, Mumbai opted to play Hardik Pandya as a fast bowling allrounder. This term is common in countries like Australia, England, South Africa, etc. The Surat-born player had a good impact in his early days. He was a bit erratic in his bowling but the kind of power he possessed while batting, the prospect was always high.
Pandya was selected in the Indian squad for 2016 World T20. Many felt this might be the opening a player needed to breakthrough. But, he didn’t get many opportunities with the bat and bowled well in parts. He was taken for plenty of runs in the Semi-Final against the West Indies.
But, Indian selectors backed him for that spot, selected him for the New Zealand ODIs in October last year. Pandya did reasonably well in the series then and attracted enough faith to become an integral part of this ODI team.
In the recently concluded IPL, Pandya played an integral part of a winning Mumbai team. He played two or three breathtaking innings and bowled some handy spells. He always has a knack of taking wickets even though he can go for a few runs. Now, the allrounder is a part of an Indian Champions Trophy squad defending their trophy in England.
Now, the allrounder is a part of an Indian Champions Trophy squad defending their trophy in England. He was given an opportunity batting around 15 overs in a warm-up game vs Bangladesh. The decision was justified by a fiery 80 off 54 balls which in turn kept Ashwin out of India’s first game vs Pakistan.
Pandya continued to impress in Edgbaston yesterday when he was promoted ahead of Dhoni. He smashed Imad Wasim for three sixes in a row to finish the innings off for India. While bowling also he showed great application by accurate lengths and into the wicket around a good area. This made it tough for a predictable Pakistan batting lineup to get away.
So far, we have seen very little of him but Hardik Pandya is one special upcoming sensation in world cricket. He has plenty of things to prove but for starters, he has done enough to cement his spot as a fast bowling allrounder. Will be the next Lance Klusner or next Andrew Flintoff? Only time will tell but if he can manage his temperament with bat and ball and not be too aggressive all the time, he may well be on the way.
A good find for India in conditions such as in England where his well-directed bouncers can work the batsman up and few quick runs late in the innings can hurt the opposition’s morale.