Hardik Pandya’s selection for the upcoming series against England was a big surprise for Indian cricket fans. Pandya, who was initially picked as a T20 specialist, impressed one and all with his bowling skills in the recently concluded One Day International (ODI) series against New Zealand.
Pandya, after getting dropped from the team, worked hard on his fitness and overall personality with India A coach Rahul Dravid. Hardik added more pace to his bowling and it worked in his favour in the series against New Zealand.
Hardik Pandya’s name in the Test squad rose many eyebrows and the selection committee chaired by MSK Prasad fielded maximum queries regarding the all-rounder’s inclusion.
“Pandya’s all-round abilities” with a sea change in attitude after working under India A coach Rahul Dravid went in his favour.
“If you look at Hardik Pandya, his pace has increased. His overall personality has mellowed down. He did extremely well in the ODI series and also during the A tour Down Under,” Prasad told the mediapersons.
“We all have been trying to find an all-rounder after Kapil Dev. In case we play three spinners, he can be the second seamer and also can bat,” MSK reasoned.
Asked about Pandya’s attitude, Prasad said: “We all know he is a bit hyper. But he has worked hard under Rahul Dravid and under chief coach Anil Kumble.”
Hardik Pandya’s competition with fellow all-rounder Sutart Binny was also clarified by the selection committee chairman.
“Hardik is a better bowler than Stuart. Stuart’s name was also considered but we felt on current form, Hardik is better.”