Aakash Chopra has opined that Hardik Pandya is quickly becoming the most vital cog in the Indian lineup in the limited-overs formats of the game.
He made this observation while talking about the value the all-rounder brings to the table in a video shared on his Facebook page.
“Hardik Pandya is fast becoming India’s most valuable player in white-ball cricket. His firing continuously is necessary. He is going to be more valuable than Kohli, Rohit, Bumrah. If India has to win the World T20, Hardik Pandya could be the one to play the biggest role in that.”
“To start with Hardik Pandya the batsman, India has not won the last few limited-overs World Cups. Our top-order has always been good, Rohit Sharma scored five centuries in one World Cup and Virat Kohli always scores runs.”
“But why we don’t win the matches in the end? Earlier there was Dhoni who used to be left alone. Now with Dhoni having left, there is no one. If you have to win the next World Cup, there is no way you can win it with just Rohit, Rahul and Kohli in the top three.”
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“It will not work with that, you need finishing because that is India’s problem in T20 or ODI cricket. We bowl well but get the problem in the finishing with the batting. The strong finishers are not present, it is a different skill which cannot be taught.”
“The rise we have seen of Hardik Pandya, the way he has grown as a player from the first IPL till now, it seems that he owns the place. In ODI cricket, if there is a collapse batting first then he takes his time, if you send him at the end, he just smashes the sixes.”
“If you talk about the second T20I, in the recent past you would have felt that it is only possible if Dhoni is there but otherwise there is no chance. But this time when Hardik was batting, we were also feeling and he was also feeling that there is no tension and that he will manage.”
“The manner in which he has batted in ODI cricket and T20 cricket, in that batting position if you search entire India, I can see only Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant to some extent but his temperament at the moment and his experience of not utilising his chances because of which he is currently out of the team.”
As a batsman he should be played at No.5 both in ODIs and T20Is. You need to try and send him up the order because the maturity, the upgraded batting software needs to be utilised fully by Team India.”