And the current India A coach feels that Pandya deserves credit for playing according to the situation and the demand of the team. “A good example about Hardik from my perspective is, he’s willing to play situations and not just the natural game we often speak about. Credit goes completely to him. It’s not about playing just the one way you want to play,” he said on the sidelines of India A’s unofficial Test against New Zealand A.
Dravid is not the lone person who is impressed with the all-rounder. Skipper Virat Kohli called Pandya a superstar after the Indore ODI and the Baroda lad is even being considered as the answer to former India skipper Kapil Dev, one of the best all-rounders to have played the gentleman’s game. Dravid is particularly impressed with the youngster’s mature approach at the crease.
“If he bats at four, he bats in a particular way. If he bats at six, he bats in a particular way. Tomorrow, he may bat at 80 for 4, like he did in the first ODI with Dhoni. That shows maturity and that’s what you want to see.
“This concept of ‘play your natural game’, which I hear all the time, frustrates me because there’s no such thing in my belief as ‘natural game.’ It’s only about how you play different situations,” Dravid said.
Dravid feels Pandya is a perfect example of how to bat differently in different conditions. “You have to learn to bat differently in different conditions, and if you can do that like Hardik is showing at the moment, those would be signs of a developing cricketer, someone who can make consistent contributions and not someone who is a one-off, who can produce brilliance once in a while.
“The aspiration and challenges set for a lot of India A players is to be all-weather players, all-situation players, all-condition players.”
First Published: September 26, 2017, 1:54 PM IST