Michael Holding who is part of the Sky Sports commentary team for the ongoing India-England Test series, said that Pandya doesn’t merit a place in the Indian side as an all-rounder
Ahead of the third Test between England and India at Nottingham, West Indies’ pace legend Michael Holding, as always, has expressed his strong opinions. This time, it is on Hardik Pandya.
Holding, who is part of the Sky Sports commentary team for the ongoing India-England Test series, said that Pandya doesn’t merit a place in the Indian side as an all-rounder.
Recently, former Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar too had raised doubts over Pandya’s capabilities as an all-rounder. He had asked people to stop comparing him with the legendary Kapil Dev.
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Holding explained, “The [Indian] attack has not been the right balance. Apparently they are playing Hardik Pandya as an allrounder to help out with the bowling. When he bowls he isn't as effective as he should be. If he was a good batsman, if he was getting runs - 60s, 70s, not even regular hundreds - at the number at which he bats and then he bowls and gets two or three wickets, happy, hallelujah. Happy with that. But he is not getting the amount of runs that can then allow him to get a wicket or two in the Test match. That doesn't work.”
Holding, who played 60 Tests and 102 ODIs, continued, “I don’t think he does a lot with the ball. That is number one. He is not consistent. He does not have the control that puts batsmen under pressure constantly. He will bowl a couple of good deliveries, yes, but you need to have the control to put batsmen under pressure consistently.”
“And he doesn’t have that. If you are going to be a frontline bowler anywhere in the world, if you are going to be someone that your captain can rely on, that can throw you the ball and expect you to get wickets and expect you to have control, he is not really the man in my opinion,” 64-year-old Holding, known as “Whispering Death”, added.
Veteran Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh too disapproved tagging Pandya as an all-rounder.
“He (Hardik Pandya) hasn’t got many runs as a batsman and the captain doesn’t seem to have confidence in his bowling. If he doesn’t bowl in these conditions then things will only get difficult for him and the Indian team in the future,” Harbhajan told AajTak.
“We have to remove the all-rounder tag from him as an all-rounder contributes in both the departments as (Ben) Stokes, Sam Curran did in the first Test and now (Chris) Woakes has done at the Lord’s. The same is expected of Hardik Pandya, he cannot become Kapil Dev overnight,” the spinner added.
India are trailing 0-2 in the five-match series. The third Test starts on Saturday in Nottingham.
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Last Updated Sep 9, 2018, 10:03 AM IST