Pandya has a devastating strike rate of 189.76 in the IPL . He will add much needed fire power in the Indian batting line-up.
If current form of Hardik Pandya in the Indian Premier League (IPL) is anything to go by, he will add the much needed fire power in India’s batting line-up as the ICC World Cup beckons. Having won two Man of the Match awards, the all-rounder from Baroda has clobbered the ball at a devastating strike rate of 189.76 and Indian team management will expect him to finish off games for the national team as well.
In a telephonic conversation with The Sunday Guardian, his coach, Jitendra Singh, believes he has the capability to do it for the national team and will get better with time.
Q. Hardik Pandya has always been a good hitter of the ball. Strike rate is something that has never been a problem with him. What do you think about his recent exploits with the bat?
A. He will get even better with time. He has always been a good batsman right from the start of his career. Hardik has scored a double century in the local A division 50-over matches. He also has a double hundred in U-16 Vijay Merchant trophy. He has got the batting abilities that’s required to hit the ball well.
Q. Hardik has said that the break he got recently was very helpful in terms of improving his skill as a player. How helpful was the break and what were the areas you worked on?
A. We worked on his mental toughness and fine-tuned certain technical glitches he had. He is a very fast learner. And the time that we got, we utilised it and now everyone is witnessing the results.
Q. What’s with the Dhoni’s helicopter shot that he has recently started playing? When did he start practicing it?
A. He has improvised Dhoni’s helicopter shot well. He started practicing the shots this season.
Q. What about his other credential as a bowler? He has leaked runs and it seems he has not performed to his full potential.
A. See, it’s not easy to make a comeback especially after the injury that he sustained during Asia Cup against Pakistan last year. He started the rehab after December and will gradually get better. Any player who makes a comeback after suffering an injury is always thankful that he is playing, at least. It takes time to recuperate and now he has fully recovered. Bowling will eventually get better with time.
Q. How important will be his presence in the World Cup team?
A. The kind of rhythm he is in and if he continues playing in the same manner, it will be very good for the Indian team. 50-over game requires different temperament and I hope he plays according to the situation and does well in the World Cup.
Q. India never had a good fast bowling all-rounder. Plus, he is someone who can bowl fast. The fact that he can bowl at a good speed, how important will he be for the team’s cause?
A. I think it’s a blessing that he can click 140 km/h with ease and if there is swing on offer, he will be an asset to the team. It also depends on what the weather is in England. If it rains, it will be good for Hardik and the team.
Q. Do you think Hardik can be the next Kapil Dev considering his prowess in both aspects of the game?
A. Kapil Dev is a legend. Nobody can fill his big shoes and it’s not that easy. He is playing all the three formats and we are lucky to have Hardik in the team.