- England and India will play the 3rd Test match starting on August 18th at Trent Bridge in Nottingham
- Hardik Pandya has endured severe criticism off late after his poor performance in the first two Test matches
- West Indian legend Michael Holding believes that it’s too soon to give Hardik the tag of an all-rounder
England will be hoping to seal the series when they take on India in the 3rd Test match starting on 18th August at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. Having decimated the Indian batting line-up in the last Test match, the hosts will be high on confidence and will no doubt look to secure a series win at the earliest opportunity possible.
Latest Cricket News: Hardik among players who spot in the playing 11 is in danger
Apart from Virat Kohli, none of the Indian batsmen have managed to even get to a half-century in this series. Players like Ajinkya Rahane, Murali Vijay, and Dinesh Karthik have severely let the team down with some shocking shot selection and lack of composure. Hardik Pandya is one player, who has probably been criticised more than anyone else on the Indian team right now.
Hardik, who came into the series with a lot of expectations on his shoulders, will be disappointed to have scored only 90 runs in 4 innings till and taken just 3 wickets, hardly a record for an all-rounder. His performance in England has led to pundits and fans calling for his exclusion from the playing 11.
West Indian legend Michael Holding, who is part of the Skysports broadcasting team for the England vs India Test series, believes that it’s premature to call Hardik Pandya a genuine all-rounder. His inconsistency with the bat and lack of wickets with the ball don’t justify the tag of an all-rounder next to his name.
“The [Indian] attack has not been the right balance. Apparently, they are playing Hardik Pandya as an all-rounder to help out with the bowling. When he bowls he isn’t as effective as he should be. If he was a good batsman, if he was getting runs – 60s, 70s, not even regular hundreds – at the number at which he bats and then he bowls and gets two or three wickets, happy, hallelujah. Happy with that. But he is not getting the number of runs that can then allow him to get a wicket or two in the Test match. That doesn’t work,” said Holding while speaking to ESPNcricinfo.
Hardik Pandya has been criticised from all quarters owing to his lack of contribution to the team’s cause. His 3 wickets in the Test series, includes 2 which were taken when the batsman was looking to accelerate. Holding,“I don’t think he does a lot with the ball. That is number one. He is not consistent. He does not have the control that puts batsmen under pressure constantly. He will bowl a couple of good deliveries, yes, but you need to have the control to put batsmen under pressure consistently.”
Latest Cricket News: Holding not the only pundit on Hardik’s back right now
Over the past couple of years, people have compared Hardik Pandya to the great Kapil Dev, however, with an average of just 22.5, the 24-year-old has hardly instilled confidence in his team-mates or those watching. Holding wasn’t the only ex-cricketer whose let loose on the Mumbai Indians player.
Former Indian bowler Harbhajan Singh called for the removal of the all-rounder tag from the side of his name. The veteran spinner said,“We have to remove the all-rounder tag from him as an all-rounder contributes in both the departments as Stokes, Sam Curran did in the first Test and now Woakes has done at the Lord’s. The same is expected of Hardik Pandya, he cannot become Kapil Dev overnight!.”
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