Former Australian captain Ian Chapell has showered lavish praise on India all-rounder Hardik Pandya after his brilliant performance in the recently concluded series against Australia. Describing Pandya as a huge hit with the fans Chappell went on to say that he is the allrounder that India had craved for since the retirement of Kapil Dev.
In his column for Cricinfo, Chappell wrote, “Hardik Pandya is potentially the fast-bowling allrounder India have craved since Kapil Dev retired. Pandya is a huge hit with the fans and was partly responsible for India dominating Australia in the recent ODI series. However, his biggest influence on the team could come in the Test arena..”
Analysing the role that Pandya can play in Tests Chappell suggests that his inclusion in the side will give a lot more flexibility to the side. “A player like Pandya, who has the ability to bat in the top six and also produce deliveries clocked at 140kph, gives a Test side the flexibility that leads to success under all conditions. It affords India the opportunity to field a balanced attack of five bowlers no matter what the conditions.”, Chappell wrote.
Lauding Pandya for his match-winning performances, Chappell went on to compare him with England’s maverick all-rounder Ben Stokes.
“With his flamboyant style, Pandya reminds me a little of the electrifying England all-rounder Ben Stokes – the outstanding and highly combative cricketer on the field rather than the citizen with a propensity for self-destruction off it. Both players are aggressive in their approach and this often results in a match-changing performance or a deflating and spectacular misfire.”
Chappell concluded by saying that if Pandya can maintain his levels of consistency in both the formats of the game then he can also help his team win both at home and away.