Hardik Pandya has gone a massive change since his return to international cricket. Since his stint at IPL 2022 where he led Gujarat Titans to victory, the fans have seen an entirely different avatar of the Baroda all-rounder. An aggressive, all-guns blazing avatar who would stop at nothing. His batting has probably undergone the biggest change and he is now much more comfortable batting at four where he usually batted during the entire IPL campaign.
With batting gaining great heights, he also started to fire on all cylinders as his bowling also came in handy. During the Asia Cup and on the England tour, he was seen picking up wickets in the powerplay and that was the reason he was suddenly being compared to the number one all-rounder at the moment-Ben Stokes.
Nevertheless, former Pakistan skipper feels Pandya will have to up his game before he is likened to the World Cup-winning England cricketer.
“I’m not referring to the game today, but Ben Stokes has a proven record. He won Test matches for England and the World Cup too,” Rashid Latif said on his Youtube channel.
“Stokes is way ahead of Hardik based on the international trophies,” he added.
“So, I don’t think you can even compare when it comes to (performances) on the ground. Because a trophy is a trophy. Ben Stokes is way ahead of Hardik in that. Having said that, yes, some of Hardik’s innings have been better than Ben Stokes, but having better innings and being better than Stokes are two completely different things.”
Hardik Pandya will once again play a crucial role when India take on Australia in the second T20I match at the VCA Stadium, Nagpur.
Jasprit Bumrah’s fitness status will be a matter of attention when an out of sorts Indian team will look at course correction options against Australia in the second T20 International and strive to keep the three-match series alive, here Friday.
Bumrah, who has been out of action since the end of England tour, skipped the Asia Cup due to back injury.
However, to everyone’s surprise, the team management didn’t play him during the high-scoring first T20I in Mohali, raising doubts whether he has still attained peak fitness or not.
To compound the team’s worries, the ‘three-and-a-half’ pronged pace attack, including Hardik Pandya, conceded 150 runs in 14 overs.