Hardik gives balance to the team: Bangar
Pandya will return to action during the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka on Sunday, after he was given a rest in the Super Four match against Bangladesh
COLOMBO: Hardik Pandya has grown in stature as India’s premier all-rounder in the last couple of years, and former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar on Saturday said, the colourful Baroda cricketer gives the team a lot of balance and will be a vital presence in the World Cup.
Pandya will return to action during the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka on Sunday, after he was given a rest in the Super Four match against Bangladesh.
“He has matured a lot over the years. He had some setbacks in terms of his fitness but he has now worked hard to reach where he is now. He has shouldered the responsibilities very well, and is captaining India in T20s. He gives a lot of balance to the team being an all-rounder,” Bangar, who is here as the ‘Star Sports’ expert, said.
Pandya will also have to shoulder the responsibility of third seamer behind Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj, which Bangar said will give India attack a complete look. “We have one of the best attacks going into the World Cup. We have two fine new ball bowlers in Bumrah and Siraj, and then there is the experienced Shami. Kuldeep (Yadav) has so many variations, as he offers a wicket-taking option.”
“(Ravindra) Jadeja too is around. As we spoke earlier, Hardik does give India a wonderful option with the ball. Overall, I think India has a strong and complete bowling line-up going into the World Cup,” said Bangar.
Bangar also hoped that Shubman Gill, who made a superb hundred against Bangladesh on Saturday, would continue in the same vein in the World Cup.
Gill has formed a fruitful association with captain Rohit Sharma at the pole position from January this year.
They have scored upwards of 1000 runs together, and the fastest Indian pair to do so in ODIs.
“Gill has grown a lot as a player, and he has shown what he can do as a batsman in overseas matches too. The World Cup is at home, and I hope he continues in the same fashion.”