Not long back were the Indian cricket fans labelling Hardik Pandya as the best all-rounder the country had seen since the days of legendary Kapil Dev. Going to South Africa full of confidence, the 24-year-old couldn’t have asked for a better start as he played a swashbuckling 93 run innings in the 1st innings at Cape Town against bowling line-up which had some of India’s top batsmen struggling. However, Roger Binny believes otherwise.
The counter-attacking innings in the 1st test match, led many cricket lovers and experts to compare the Mumbai Indians player with the great Kapil Dev. However, the tour soon took a turn for the worse, as Pandya failed with the bat one innings after another. In the 5 innings that followed that 93 run innings, Pandya managed the score of 1, 15, 6, 0 & 4 and ended the series with just 119 runs.
If Pandya thought that limited over series will bring a change in his performances, he was completely wrong as the all-rounder managed just 26 runs at an average of 8.66. Such a disastrous run would have prompted the team management to make a change, however, it’s his bowling contribution and the energy on the field that has prevented the team from dropping him.
Hardik Pandya lucky to be viewed as an all-rounder
Speaking about Hardik’s performances South Africa and the comparison that has been drawn between him and the great Kapil Dev, former Indian all-rounder Roger Binny had this to say, as reported by Times of India,
“He’s lucky to get viewed as an allrounder. He doesn’t contribute with the bat. He is chipping in with the ball, and that’s why he’s been able to keep his place in the team.”
“As a batsman, he’s no patch on Kapil Dev. Kapil got hundreds in first-class cricket before he broke into India’s Test side. Pandya hasn’t scored runs in first-class cricket before playing at the top level. He has got into the Test team based on his exploits in T20 cricket. Limited-overs cricket is a different ball game altogether – you can get runs in those formats because the field is spread out.”
Hardik not a complete batsman, shaped solely by IPL
“Hardik Pandya rose through the Indian ranks, not because of his performances in the domestic leagues but due to his match-winning efforts in the Indian Premier League. Many critics are of the opinion that the 24-year-olds aggressive approach to batting is one thing in limited over format, however, in test cricket, his game needs to develop a lot more before he can be called a test specialist or even remotely be compared to the greats of the past. He’s trying to hit everything from ball one, which is impossible. He tries to play too many strokes and doesn’t look to settle down,” Roger Binny said in conclusion.
Hardik Pandya and team India are currently preparing for the 3rd and deciding T20 match at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town, after suffering a 6 wicket defeat in the 2nd match of the series at Centurion. Pandya might not have scored the runs that are expected from an all-rounder, but he has managed to pick up 9 wickets on this tour, including some big ones like AB de Villiers and JP Duminy.