Former Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer feels all-rounder Hardik Pandya has the ability to better Kapil Dev’s record for the country in white-ball cricket. He, however, admitted that it is still too early to conclude that he would go on to become as great as the World Cup-winning captain.
Hardik starred with both bat and ball as India defeated England by five wickets in the third ODI at Old Trafford in Manchester to win the three-match series. After returning with figures of 4/24 in seven overs, Hardik scored crucial 71 runs and shared a 133-run partnership with Rishabh Pant to help India gun down the target of 260 runs.
Asked if Hardik could go on to register better numbers than Kapil in limited-overs cricket, Jaffer told ESPNcricinfo:
“Yes. He definitely has the capability (of bettering Kapil Dev’s record in white ball cricket). Kapil Dev is a very big name. It is difficult to arrive at a conclusion so soon. But if he keeps bowling like this (it can happen). He already has the batting capability. If he plays for another 5-7 years, he could get close to Kapil’s record.”
Incidentally, Hardik Pandya’s career was in doubt a few months back. He struggled with a back injury and was at the lowest point of his career. He took time off from the game to work on his fitness and made an impeccable return to the Indian Premier League 2022. The 28-year-old led the Gujarat Titans (GT) to the title in their maiden campaign.
Through the ups and downs, with my people by my side. Woke up every morning raring to go, with the will to become stronger, with the will to become fitter and play for my country. Always grateful to those who stood by me, who encouraged me, who guided me 🙏❤️ pic.twitter.com/4gi32ijq1k
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) July 18, 2022
Hardik Pandya carried the good form into international cricket and made significant contributions with both bat and ball.
“Very good to contribute in all the departments” – Hardik Pandya
Hardik finished as the second highest run-scorer in the series with 100 runs in two innings. He also picked up six wickets, including a four-wicket haul.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, the all-rounder spoke about his efforts, “It is always very good to contribute in all the departments, I think that has given me a lot of confidence in the past, it adds more layers to my game and to my confidence.”
He will be next seen in action during the upcoming five-match T20I series against West Indies, which gets underway on July 29. However, he has been rested for the three ODIs, starting from July 22.