Indian cricketing legend and the nation’s first World Cup winning captain, Kapil Dev, spoke about the emerging India all-rounder Hardik Pandya, and said that the 24-year-old needed to “work harder on his batting”, in order to cement his all-rounder status in the Indian team’s starting line-up, after a dismal performance with the bat in the recently-concluded tour in South Africa.
While Hardik Pandya had started off with the right approach, scoring a brilliant 93 in the first innings of the 1st Test against the Proteas in Cape Town, the Mumbai Indians‘ star had gone southbound from there, as he couldn’t manage to to score another half-century in the whole series (Test, ODI, T20I).
Kapil Dev expects Hardik Pandya to improve batting
Despite of scoring a wonderful 93-run knock in the 1st Test against South Africa, Hardik Pandya averaged 19.83 in the 3-match Test series, while registering dismal figures in the ODI (8.66) and T20I (34) series as well. Speaking about what Pandya needed to improve as an all-rounder, Kapil Dev told PTI,
“I would like to see him in the team for one reason, definitely either as a bowler or as batsman. He has to work little harder on his batting because he is a batsman all-rounder. If he can perform a little more with the bat, the bowling will come easy to him and that’s what happens to all-rounders.”
No comparisons needed, says Kapil Dev
Soon after he emerged on to the Indian cricketing scene, Hardik Pandya had started to draw parallels with India’s legendary all-rounder, Kapil Dev himself. However, Dev feels that the comparison tends to put pressure on young cricketers, and is not preferred.
The former India captain emphasised that Pandya had been showing glimpses of being a talented cricketer and one of the finest athletes in the Indian team, but what was needed was a little more time and hard work. As reported by the New Indian Express, Kapil Dev said,
“He (Pandya) has shown the glimpse. He has the talent and the ability. Comparing with anyone put more pressure on him. I would like to see him go and express himself, enjoy himself.”
“We have started expecting too much from him soon but I think he has the ability and is one of the finest athletes in the team. But he has to work harder to achieve success as an all-rounder.”