Has Pandya”s inclusion finally ended the search for India”s seam allrounder? Hardik Pandiya finding his feet in the bigger league: Hardik Pandiya finding his feet in the bigger league: In the second round of Ranji Trophy 2015-16 games, Baroda registered a convincing victory by an innings and 113 runs over Railways at Moti Bagh Stadium, Vadodara.
The man who made it possible was the 22-year old all-rounder Hardik Himangshu Pandiya, who has been in the news lately for his exploits with the bat and the ball for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2015.
There was a splendid bowling display by Hardik, who returned with the figure of 15-4-61-5 in the first innings. This has been his best bowling performance in an innings and his maiden ‘five-wicket’ haul. He picked up 3 more wickets in the second innings, giving away just 30 runs in his spell of 15 overs. His match analysis has been 30-9-91-8, his best performance in First Class, thus far.
Featuring in 7 games (10 innings) Pandiya has picked up 17 wickets at an average of 29.88 and a economy of 3.25 with 55.0 strike rate.
He has also contributed reasonably with the bat in the current season. In 10 innings he has scored 309 runs at an average of 30.90 with 64 runs as his personal best.
Irfan Pathan, in an interview, had stated that Pandiya was very talented and that he (Pandiya) would be playing for India soon.
Well, what Irfan said has almost come out to be true. BCCI selectors, last week, while picking up a 15-member squad for ODI and T20I series against Australia to be played Down under in January 2016, have picked up the young Pandiya in the T20I squad.
Pandiya’s domestic performances in IPL and First Class games have been keenly watched by the ‘men that matter’ and suitably rewarded.
Speaking to a cricketing website, Pandiya, on his selection to the national squad said, “I have been doing well in domestic cricket and have been encouraged by Sachin (Tendulkar) and Harbhajan Singh but this selection is a dream.” “I owe a lot to the IPL as it has changed my cricket and my life,” he added. The 22-year old, medium pacer has been idolising local man, Irfan Pathan, who also functions as his mentor.
The absence of a bowling all-rounder in the Indian dressing room might just get sorted out with this youngster making it to the squad. Hopefully, he might get a game or two to play and the conditions in Australia being conducive, the young pacer, might be able to ‘make a mark’ and leave a great and lasting impression.