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Give Hardik Pandya time, says Kapil Dev

Hardik Pandya certainly has the ability but only time will tell if he would go on to become a genuine allrounder, said former India captain Kapil Dev, considered as one of the country's best ever cricketers.

Give Hardik Pandya time, says Kapil Dev
File photo of allrounder Hardik Pandya (IANS)

Chandigarh: Hardik Pandya certainly has the ability but only time will tell if he would go on to become a genuine allrounder, said former India captain Kapil Dev, considered as one of the country's best ever cricketers.

"Time will tell, wait for some time. He has the ability," Kapil said when asked if Pandya can emerge as a genuine all-rounder for India.

"The team has to see the right combination, that's it. When you have an allrounder, that is always good for the captain; he has the option."

The 59-year old, a veteran of 131 Tests and 225 ODIs, heaped praise on the current crop of Indian cricketers, saying the cricketing world is now looking up to India.

"These boys are professional, they are doing so well. We used to look up to other countries. Today the world of cricket is looking up to India. It's a big change," he said.

On the performance of Indian bowlers in the ongoing South African tour, Kapil said, "They are very good, give them time, they will do far better than what they are already doing. They are a good unit now."

However, he didn't want to single out any individual among the Indian bowlers.

"When you are playing, you play like a team; don't say he is better and he is not better. That way we spoil the team. Everybody has to play his role and everybody has to work hard," Kapil said.

He further explained: "In football, they say people who score the goal they are not the only people ... There are people who give a pass; they are also very important.

"Likewise, in cricket too, each individual team member has a role to play. Cheteshwar Pujara made the bowlers tired; those are more important players than somebody who comes and gets quick 100 runs or 200 runs.

"I think we look at the game slightly differently. It's a team of 11 players and 5 people who are sitting out. If you depend on only two players, you will never win any game," he added.

Stylish batsman Ajinkya Rahane was left out of the playing XI in the ongoing opening Test against South Africa at Cape Town.

Asked if he could have been included in the side, Kapil said, "Only 11 people can play. You and I can't be better persons to judge over what the captain, vice-captain or team management decides. Do you think we can do a better job sitting out? The answer is no.

"They must have realised and thought about that and that must be the best for the team. My opinion at this stage is not very important, important is how they win the series."

Kapil further explained: "You would have asked me the same thing why Rohit is not playing had he not played this Test, you would have asked me the same question that he is in good form and why he is not there.

"Your (media's) job is asking questions, that's fine, but I think management sitting out there must have planned everything. And whether their plan comes good or bad, we will come to know after the Test match."

Replying to another question, Kapil said there is cut-throat competition at the top and it speaks volume about the quality of the current Indian cricketers.

"Look at Rahul. You can say he could have easily played giving his track record and whatever cricket he has played. A player like Ajinkya Rahane didn't get a chance to play. That speaks volume for the team (team's bench strength)," he said.

Asked if he always wanted to be an allrounder, Kapil replied: "No, I was a bowler. In my first class match, my debut, I batted at No 11. Every bowler can become a batsman, but for every batsman, it is not possible to become a bowler."

Kapil said he has no plans to open a cricket academy.

"If you sponsor me, I will run it. I cannot charge kids to teach cricket. I do not like that kids pay me and then I teach them cricket. This is my thinking and each individual has his own way of thinking," he said.

"When I was young, I never felt that I could learn cricket by paying money. If academies are running, they charge fees, like in schools and colleges, but my conscience does not allow charging money."