Finally, Pandya lets his performance do the talking

All-rounder justifies skipper Kohli's faith with a five-wicket haul

India's Hardik Pandya celebrates with Virat Kohli after taking the wicket of England's Adil Rashid. (Reuters)
Highlights: 
Pandya, who has played just 26 first-class games but has already competed in 41 ODIs, 35 T20Is and is playing his 10th Test, tried to put an end to the Kapil Dev comparison that’s been recently cast on him.

It’s very obvious Hardik Pandya has a great love for a flashy lifestyle. At times he struts into press conferences sporting glitzy headphones with the swagger of a rap singer or a boxer. The diamond earstuds glisten in the arc lights and the thick chain just adds weight to his image.

He also has an obsession to be on social media, often endearing his 4.1 million followers on Instagram with photographs of various kinds — modelling, travelling, working out, showing off his six packs etc. The desperation to ‘look cool’ has at times landed him in trouble and questioned his hunger and desire to be a successful cricketer at the highest level. A recent photo from the streets of London just days after India had got a massive beating from England saw fans go red and critics sharpen their knives.

A self-taught cricketer who has risen up the ranks rather quickly, the 24-year-old goes about his job unflustered. The deep determination inside his heart to make his own mark rarely popping out of the flashy exterior. Even before he could come onto bowl on the second day of the third Test, many wondered what part of the all-rounder role he was fulfilling. But, from ball one, he made a telling impact to put India in a commanding position. Swinging the ball both ways, he bagged a career-best 5/28 in six eventful overs to show why the team management and even the great Rahul Dravid rate him so highly.

I have never wanted to be Kapil Dev. Let me be Hardik Pandya. I am good at being Hardik Pandya. I’ve reached here till now, played 40 ODIs and 10 Tests being Hardik Pandya, not Kapil Dev.

Kapil Dev on Hardik Pandya: Pandya needs to focus more on batting

“I don’t play for them,” said Pandya in response to a question on former players criticising his poor performance until the five-for on Sunday. “They are getting paid for saying things which I don’t even want to know or care. I play for my country. I don’t care what they say, it’s their job to say and it’s my job to play for my country and I am doing the right thing. My team is happy with me, nothing else matters.”

Pandya, who has played just 26 first-class games but has already competed in 41 ODIs, 35 T20Is and is on his 10th Test, also tried to put an end to the Kapil Dev comparison that’s been unfairly cast on him. Virat Kohli once remarked Pandya is finding his own way and one should let him find that path without much interference. Pandya echoed his skipper’s thoughts.

“The problem with comparison is when things go wrong, they are like he is not that. I have never wanted to be Kapil Dev. Let me be Hardik Pandya. I am good at being Hardik Pandya. I’ve reached here till now, played 40 ODIs and 10 Tests being Hardik Pandya, not Kapil Dev. They have created their era, let me be Hardik Pandya, let’s stop comparing me with anyone. I will be happy if you don’t,” said Pandya, sporting a big smile.

Pandya has gone onto become an asset in limited overs with his useful bowling and explosive batting down the order. It lends the side the balance many Indian sides of the past struggled to find. It’s one of the reasons why the current management of Kohli and Ravi Shastri back him to the hilt in Test cricket as well. Such performances vindicate the trust and faith reposed in him. He’s got a century and a five-wicket haul so far. If he can deliver consistently, Pandya would have found his way and India their long search for a quality all-rounder.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 1

    Sad
  • 1

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry

Comments:

Finally, Pandya lets his performance do the talking

0 comments

Write the first review for this !