New Delhi: Hardik Pandya is the latest cricketing sensation to hit the town. The young all-rounder has managed to impress everyone by playing a fearless brand of cricket.
Many legends and experts have already hailed Pandya as one of the greatest gifts the sport has received in a long time. And now Kapil Dev has become the latest legend to join the Pandya-fan club.
Pandya, 23, won the man-of-the-match in the third match of the ongoing India-Australia DI series in Indore. It was his third man-of-the-match award and second of the series.
He's one of the rare players who got man-on-the-match on debut, which he did last October against New Zealand at Dharamsala, which India won by six wickets. The second award came earlier this month in Chennai after he helped India beat Australia by 26 runs via D/L method.
"Hardik Pandya is better than me. But he has to do a lot of hard work," Kapil said at a press conference.
Many have already started comparing Pandya to Kapil himself, arguably India's greatest all-rounder. In a career spanning more than 15 years, Kapil played 131 Tests and 225 ODIs, scoring close to 10000 international runs.
The right-arm pacer also took 434 and 253 wickets in Tests and ODIs respectively. Besides, he also helped India to their first ever World Cup triumph in 1983.
"It is still too early. We should not create unnecessary burden on him. He has the talent and ability to be a great player," Kapil added.
Pandya has so far played three Tests, 24 ODIs and 19 T20Is. He has scored 178 runs in Tests, 489 in ODIs and 100 in T20Is. He also has 4 wickets in Tests, 28 in ODIs and 15 in T20Is.