Mumbai: Former India cricket manager Lalchand Rajput feels Hardik Pandya is the “ideal all-rounder” that the national team has been aspiring since the departure of legendary Kapil Dev.
“Pandya is an exceptional cricketer. The talent he has got, I have seen him at the NCA and then he was with me at the Zonal camp. He has got tremendous talent. He is an ideal all-rounder after Kapil,” Rajput said.
The 23-year-old Pandya played a crucial knock in the first ODI against Australia in Chennai, which eventually helped India to win the ODI by 26 runs.
“His batting is excellent and he can play in all formats. Earlier, people used to say he is good in shorter version, but in a Test match also he can turn the game. He took the first game away from the Australians (in Chennai). He can clear boundaries at will and that’s the hallmark of a good batsman. His bowling is good and he is an outstanding fielder. He has the ingredients to be the next Kapil. But still he has to perform upto a level to attain Kapil’s stature. But certainly, he has it in him to be the all-rounder that the Indian team was looking at,” Rajput elaborated.
Rajput recollected how he was impressed by Hardik’s clean hitting during a camp. “And he (Hardik) just loved (to hit the ball) it. I always used to tell him proper shot selection will take you higher. The more he plays, he is getting more matured and becoming a reliable lower-order batsman,” he said....