Faith in Pandya is paying off
Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan believes Hardik Pandya is blossoming at the highest level because he has the complete backing of captain Virat Kohli and the team management.
Pathan was himself seen as a potential long-term all format allrounder a decade back but after showing promise initially, he lost his place in the side after being tried out at various positions in the lineup and without a clear-cut plan for harnessing his abilities.
Pathan is uhappy to see a talented player like Pandya being allowed express himself with the 23-yearold averaging 55.50 in the current ODI series against Australia.
“It is great to see players being backed. Sometimes you wonder... players, who were not backed enough and could have otherwise had a longer career,” Pathan was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India. “For any player’s rise, not just Hardik’s, the backing of captain plays a huge role.
“Kedar (Jadhav) for example was doing fantastically well in domestic cricket for so many years but he got the backing only under Virat.”
“Virat is backing all the youngsters, not only one or two. If you have the backing of captain and team management, the player will perform eventually.”
It’s been claimed Pandya has it in him to be the next Kapil Dev but Pathan, having himself carried the burden of those hopes, said such comparisons should be avoided.
Pathan added: “I think he will be the first Hardik Pandya. Let’s not compare him with anyone. Let’s give him some time.”
Like a dream: Jonny Bairstow hit an unbeaten 141 as England completed a series whitewash with a nine-wicket triumph.
Getting better and better: Pandya.