With India set for challenging Test tours to South Africa and England early next year, all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s actual worth would be monitored closely.
Hardik Pandya debuted in the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle where he smashed a quickfire 50 to provide India the late push. He also took one wicket as India won convincingly. In the second Test in Colombo, Pandya scored 20 and claimed a couple of wickets.
It is clear that India are banking on Pandya, who can provide the perfect balance to the playing XI on foreign tours where the team might not have the liberty to play two spinners — R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
India’s legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev has no doubt about Pandya’s ability to deliver in South Africa and England conditions. “He has the ability but he has to keep on performing,” said Kapil on the sidelines of a promotional event here on Thursday.
India skipper Virat Kohli had recently drawn a parallel between Hardik Pandya and England all-rounder Ben Stokes. “At home, it has been different but when you play away, one guy gives you a lot of balance. I think Hardik can be that guy going ahead, especially playing so much cricket away from home. If he grows in confidence – you see someone like Ben Stokes, what he does for England. He brings in a great balance as an all-rounder. I see no reason why Hardik can’t become that for India,” Kohli had said.