Hardik Pandya has been India’s best batsman in the limited-overs series against Australia. After scoring 90 and 92 in the first and the third ODI respectively, he scored 42 off 22 balls in the second T20I to help India win the match and the series. Meanwhile, Indian skipper Virat Kohli has said that Hardik has to bowl to be included in the Test squad for the four-Test match series starting on December 17.
Meanwhile, speaking at the post-match virtual press conference, Virat spoke about Hardik’s inability to bowl at the moment due to his injury. He also spoke about the importance of bowling in Test cricket especially if he is an all-rounder.
“Hardik couldn’t bowl and we knew he will not be able to bowl but we saw in the IPL the headspace that he has been. But Test cricket is a different challenge and we need him to bowl,” Kohli was clear about priorities.
“We have spoken about it. He is one guy who brings in a lot of balance for us in overseas conditions like South Africa, England. We were able to compete for longer periods of time and he adds a lot of balance in terms of his bowling” added the Indian skipper.
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Hardik Pandya is the X-Factor of the team: Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli also said that Hardik is the X-Factor of the team and he wants to perform in all three facets of his game.
“He is definitely in a zone where he wants to perform for India in all three disciplines. That’s always been his ‘X-factor’. In white-ball cricket, we found someone who can finish games consistently,” the skipper said.
Hardik Pandya was chosen as the Man of the Series for his brilliant performance in the ODIs and T20Is against Australia. He has been the best batsman for India against Australia in this tour. After scoring 210 runs in three ODIs to finish as the highest run-getter for India in the fifty-over series, Pandya has so far notched up 78 runs in three T20Is.
“I’m very pleased, and wouldn’t mind getting the Man of the Series award, but it was a team effort. After the 2nd ODI we thought we’d think of this as a 4-match series and we managed to get three wins, so happy with that” said Pandya.