Hardik Pandya has all the skill sets required to emulate world’s premier all-rounder Ben Stokes, team India’s skipper Virat Kohli said on Saturday.
During the post-match press conference, Kohli said “I have a lot of faith in him (Hardik) as far as any format is concerned. If he grows in confidence you see someone like Ben Stokes, what he does for England, brings in great balance as an all-rounder. I see no reason why Hardik Pandya can’t become that for India.”
The skipper not only praised Pandya’s bowling performance in the second innings but also his debut half-century in the tests. “In the first innings, he didn’t get opportunity to bowl much but I think in the second innings, he bowled really nicely on a wicket that wasn’t offering much and he kept it in the right areas,” he said.
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The thing that impressed Kohli about Pandya the most was his technique to use the shirt ball and also the speed at which he bowled. “He used the bouncer well. He bowls around 135, so he is a great asset and I have mentioned this before as well,” Kohli said.
His whirlwind 50 in the first innings was the difference between a total of 550 and 600. “We would have been 540-550 in the first innings. He got those 50 runs quickly and that saves you time as well. That gives you another 15 overs to bowl at the opposition. And his fielding is also tremendous.”
With PTI inputs.