Indian skipper Virat Kohli showered praise on Hardik Pandya after his heroics in the 2nd T20I against Australia. He stated that the 27-year-old is taking up responsibility and making the most of the sheer talent he possesses.
Hardik Pandya came in at No. 5 in India’s chase of 195, and finished on an unbeaten 42 off 22 balls. He smashed two massive sixes in the final over bowled by Daniel Sams to take India over the line with 2 balls to spare.
When asked about Pandya’s splendid performance, Virat Kohli said:
“The reason for him [Hardik Pandya] coming into the team in 2016 was pure ability, and you can just see that he has natural raw talent with the bat and when he was bowling as well. He’s quite experienced after playing a lot of T20 cricket in the IPL and for India too.”
“He realises that this is his time in the next 4-5 years to become a bankable middle-order player that can win you games from anywhere. You need that finisher, and he’s becoming that for us. He’s hungry, he’s going to keep getting better.”
Virat Kohli continued by saying that Pandya’s passion and heart are ideal for tall run-chases such as the one India pulled off in the 2nd T20I. He lauded the all-rounder for having solid plans and executing them to perfection when under pressure.
“His plans are ideal, and he plays with a lot of heart. You can’t win games like this by calculating through your mind, you need to bring that passion out while playing for your country. He’s certainly got that, competing and executing at the highest level. I’m very happy to see that and I hope he keeps going strong.”
Hardik Pandya has been the standout performer in India’s ongoing tour of Australia. The Mumbai Indians all-rounder scored two nineties in the ODI series, and has proven himself to be capable of playing for the country as a specialist batsman.