New Delhi: India spinner Harbhajan Singh has trained his guns towards Hardik Pandya by saying that he doesn't deserve to be referred to as an all-rounder on the basis of his performance in the ongoing five-match Test series against England.
With the bat, Pandya has scored just 90 runs in four innings so far and has managed to pick just 3 wickets while bowling. This has prompted Singh to question Pandya's abilities in the longest format and reckoned that the 24-year-old must learn from the England's all-rounders, like Ben Stokes, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes.
"He hasn’t got many runs as a batsman and the captain doesn’t seem to have confidence in his bowling," Singh told AajTak. "If he doesn’t bowl in these conditions then things will only get difficult for him and the Indian team in the future."
"We have to remove the all-rounder tag from him as an all-rounder contributes in both the departments as Stokes, Curran did in the first Test and now Woakes has done at the Lord’s. The same is expected of Hardik Pandya, he cannot become Kapil Dev overnight!,” he added.
Singh was referring to the fact that Stokes picked up six wickets in the first Test to play a more than important role in England victory, while Curran starred with both bat and ball, and was named the man of the match at Edgbaston. In the Lord's Test, Woakes' ton with the bat and four-wicket haul with the ball helped him win the coveted prize.
Before boarding the flight for England, Shastri had said:"For us there is no away, every game is a home game because we don't play the opponent, we play the pitch. Our job is to conquer the pitch wherever we go." Referring to this comment, Bhajji criticised coach Ravi Shastri as well, saying that he must be answerable if India end up to be on the losing side in the series.
"The coach has to come on record, today or tomorrow he has to speak up. He is answerable to everyone. If India loses the series, then he might have to eat his words and admit that conditions do make a lot of difference," said Singh.
"We haven’t showed any intent to fight back. The willingness to win is missing and that is most disheartening. We are losing without posing any challenge to the opponent. It is extremely disappointing."