India vs England 2016: Golden opportunity for Hardik Pandya to cement his place in whites
While his selection has raised a few eyebrows, Pandya should grab the opportunity with both hands by putting a good show if he is picked in the playing XI.
New Delhi: There is no denying the fact that Hardik Pandya has been one of the most prolific all-rounders for the Indian cricket team lately. At a time when the Indian team was struggling to find a genuine all-rounder, Pandya raised the level of his performances and sealed the spot in limited-overs cricket.
In the recently concluded ODI series against New Zealand, Pandya left everybody surprised with the increase in pace in his deliveries. After being dropped for a few tours, Pandya made a commendable comeback as he dismissed Martin Guptill in the first over of his one day international career. Post match, he said he felt stronger, which was the reason behind the increase in pace.
It was his good show in the ODI series against New Zealand with the ball that would have forced the selectors to pick him in the 15-man squad.
Indian cricket team's chief selector MSK Prasad stressed on the fact that the Baroda cricketer had worked hard with Rahul Dravid which was the reason behind his improvement.
"Rahul Dravid has worked hard on the mental side of his game. Now Anil Kumble is guiding him. We have three allrounders - Stuart Binny, Hardik Pandya, Rishi Dhawan. In this particular series, he scores ahead of Binny. Much quicker and better bowler than Stuart. With form and fitness, Hardik is a better option," he said.
While he has been a vital cog in India's limited-overs squad since the beginning of this year, his inclusion in India's 15-man Test squad for upcoming series against England comes as a big surprise.
Indian Test team has done well under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, and the skipper himself would be keen to have a pace-bowling all-rounder in the team. While his selection has raised a few eyebrows, Pandya should grab the opportunity with both hands by putting a good show if he is picked in the playing XI.