The chairman of selectors MSK Prasad showered Hardik Pandya with hefty praises after the 24-year-old hammered his maiden century today against Sri Lanka at Pallekelle. The subline, which saw a mixture of calmness and aggression, powered India to a highly comfortable position after losing the dominance to Lankan bowlers.
His knock was truly one of its kind also get him an entry into a couple of record lists. He has been the subject of discussion among cricket fans throughout the day.
Next Kapil Dev?
Prasad was quick to speak highly of Hardik Pandya when asked about potential. He obviously has all the reason to shell out the sweet words after his antics this morning. The nicest moment which can also be a very motivating fact was the comparison with the legendary Kapil Dev
“If he stays grounded I am sure we will see him being compared to the legendary Kapil Dev in the times to come,” Prasad told PTI after Pandya hit his maiden Test ton that had as many as seven huge sixes.
Prasad had only one cautious advice for him, stating that the all-rounder must stay grounded in order to achieve greater success.
It’s true story that since Kapil’s retirement in 1994, India has never found his replacement in the seam bowling all-rounder’s category. Irfan Pathan and Stuart Binny have been a couple of promising options but Pandya seems to be someone from a different league altogether.
When Prasad was asked if India’s search for a potent all-rounder is over, he said “yes”. “I am very happy to say that our search for an all- rounder has been successful in the form of Hardik,” Prasad, a former India wicketkeeper, said.
“He has already established himself in shorter formats (ODIs and T20) very well and this Test series has given him a good platform to establish himself in the longest format. He has utilised the opportunity given to him and came out with flying colours,” Prasad said.
He also feels that Pandya is a special player who has all the capability to excel in modern day cricket and also made a comparison with Englishman Ben Stokes who is arguably the best seam bowling all-rounder in the world.
“He is athletic, exuberant and very positive in his attitude. The best part about him is that his basics are strong in all three departments –batting, bowling and fielding. He looks so graceful in whatever he does in the three departments,” Prasad.
“I don’t see any reason why he cant do for India what Ben Stokes has been doing for England,” Kohli had said after Pandya’s maiden Test half century in Galle.