New Delhi: After a series of impressive performances for India, talented all-rounder Hardik Pandya revealed that he idolises South African legend Jacques Kallis and wants to perform like him.
Speaking to IBNlive, the 22-year-old said about his idol, "Because what he [Kallis] has done for South Africa is quite commendable and you know when he has bowled he was the proper fast bowler and when he has batted he was a proper batsman and when he was doing fielding he was a brilliant fielder.”
Kallis retired from all forms of international cricket on July 2014. Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, the 40-year-old was a treat to watch. Unlike other legends who excel in one particular skill, with either bat or ball, Kallis was a rare, complete talent.
He played 166 Test matches for South Africa, scoring 13,289 runs including 45 centuries, which is only behind Indian great Sachin Tendulkar's 51.
In ODIs, he scored an impressive 11,579 runs with 17 tons in 328 matches.
With the ball, he had taken 292 and 273 wickets in Tests and ODIs respectively.
"So that’s why I idolise him because I want to be the Jacques Kallis of India. Because I want to be that guy who, whenever the team needs, is there...in batting, bowling, and fielding. So, that kind of player I want to be for India," added the Mumbai Indians player.
Pandya made his India debut on January 22 against Australia in a Twenty20 International match at Adelaide, in a winning cause which laid the foundation for Mahendra Singh Dhoni & Co. to register a rare series win Down Under.
His stint in the Indian Premier League allowed national selectors to notice his talent, and was finally given a chance to perform for the team.
In a short period, the Gujarati player has played six Twenty20 International matches for India.
And for no reason he was referred to as the "West Indian from Baroda" by none other than Indian veteran Ashish Nehra.