Hardik Pandya is playing the role of a proper all-rounder in the ongoing Asia Cup 2023, making an impact with (both bat and ball. This is such great news and signs for Team India ahead of the World Cup 2023 at home.
After cracking 87 runs in the Group A game against Pakistan, Hardik Pandya turned the head with the ball in the Super 4 round against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, helping India secure wins to seal a place in the final.
In Colombo, against Pakistan, Pandya returned with figures of 1/15 in 5 overs, which includes a sensational delivery to Babar Azam that seamed in sharply to go through the batsman’s bat-pad gap and crashed into the stumps. Against Sri Lanka, then, where the match was really tight, Pandya came on late and helped India with a breakthrough wicket, finishing with 1/14 in 5 overs.
During these two bowling performances, he got swing and seam movement with the new ball against Pakistan, and then bowled proper hard lengths with the old ball against Sri Lanka to show the increased arsenal in his bowling skillset.
Hardik Pandya is doing what Stuart Broad used to do: R Ashwin
This was keenly noted by senior India off-spinner R Ashwin, who on his YouTube channel heaped praise on Hardik Pandya the bowler.
Ashwin is very impressed by Pandya using the wobble seam ball, which is also known as the three-quarter delivery, and Ashwin said that the Indian all-rounder bowled like veteran England Test pacer Stuart Broad.
“Hardik Pandya swung it both ways during the IPL at the Narendra Modi Stadium. He is doing it now at the international level. What’s happening? The one he bowled to Babar Azam was more of seam than swing. He is doing what Stuart Broad used to do in Test cricket. More of a wobble seam,” Ashwin said in his YouTube video.
India’s last Super 4 round game is against Bangladesh. Having sealed a place in the final, India may chose to rest some players, including Hardik Pandya.