Head coach of Indian cricket team Ravi Shastri has hailed Hardik Pandya for his recent exploits in the ODI and T20I series against Australia. Hardik ended the ODI series as the top-scorer for India and won the Man of the Series in the T20Is.
Shastri is happy with Hardik’s progress as a player and has said that the all-rounder is one of the cleanest hitters in the game. He also said that Hardik’s game awareness is second to none in modern cricket.
Talking to the Times of India, Shastri spoke about Hardik Pandya’s performance in the ODIs and the T20Is against Australia. Shastri said that in the absence of Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah, Pandya has stepped up with the bat big time.
“Winning the T20s without Rohit and Bumrah was a huge achievement. What’s essentially working beautifully for this team is players standing up to these responsibilities. In that, Hardik has been a natural. His game awareness is second to none. He’s one of the cleanest strikers of the ball I’ve seen in the game,” Shastri said.
Hardik Pandya Needs To Bowl in Tests – Virat Kohli
Hardik’s back-injury is preventing him from bowling for India. However, Hardik has proved his importance for the side with the bat alone. Meanwhile, Indian skipper Virat Kohli stressed on the need for Hardik to bowl if he is to play in the Test series against Australia.
“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.
After scoring 210 runs in the ODIs, Hardik scored 78 runs from three games in the T20Is. This included a 42* in the second T20I to help India win the match and the series. His strike-rate of 156.00 helped India chase down targets when odds stood against the team.