Shikhar Dhawan explains the importance of Hardik Pandya for India
Undoubtedly, Team India's all-rounder Hardik Pandya has turned out to be a key member of the side over the last few years. Pandya is currently out of the Indian team after being suspended by the BCCI, over his sexist comments on the chat show, Koffee With Karan. However, Indian senior cricketer Shikhar Dhawan highlighted why Pandya is crucial for India.
Pandya has seen his stock rise as an all-rounder
Pandya has seen his stock rise as an all-rounder and his impact is even beyond his bowling and batting. The 25-year-old is an excellent fielder and he has the time on his side to dictate the show in the coming years. Going into the ICC World Cup 2019, India will need Pandya's services to give them the right balance in the XI.
Dhawan highlights the importance of an all-rounder
"The balance Pandya creates when he is in the team is very crucial. Even when Kedar plays, the overs he bowls are very beneficial for us..So often, he has broken big partnerships. An all-rounder in Tests and limited-overs cricket is equally important," Dhawan said.
A look at Pandya's career statistics
Pandya has featured in 11 Tests for India. He has scored 532 runs and picked up 17 wickets. Pandya has scored a hundred and four fifties to average 31.29 with the bat. In 42 ODIs, Pandya has an able tally of 40 scalps, besides scoring 670 runs at an average of 29.13. The bowling all-rounder has also featured in 35 T20Is.
Pandya last featured for India in September 2018
The 25-year-old last played for India during the Asia Cup 2018 opener against Pakistan. He sustained an injury during the match and since then is yet to feature after recovering from the same. He was supposed to play in the ongoing ODI series against Australia, but the BCCI suspended him pending an inquiry. Notably, yesterday the Supreme Court adjourned the hearing to next week.
Pandya has been a sheer match-winner for India
One cannot forget Pandya's performance in England in 2018. The player picked six wickets and scored 70 runs to win the Test for India at Nottingham. Pandya also stood out during an ODI against Australia in 2017, where his 66-ball 83 and two wickets saw India clinch the match in Chennai. Moments like these make him highly influential for Kohli-led India.
Pandya is India's best pace all-rounder
Pandya provides the solidity as a pace all-rounder in the side. The issue for India is that they only have spin all-rounders like Ravindra Jadeja and Kedar Jadhav. He is the only option if Kohli wants a pace all-rounder in the squad.