India captain Virat Kohli is a happy man. The search for the all-important all-rounder seems to have ceased with the arrival of Hardik Pandya, who is earning a name for himself with his skills. Praises have been showered on him from all quarters, and comparisons have already been made with India's greatest all-rounder Kapil Dev.
It might be too early for one to make such bold comparisons, and a tad unfair as Pandya has just started to play international cricket. He has a long way to go, and will have to play quality cricket consistently for the next 10 years to find his name in the same bracket alongside Kapil.
But the ever-so-down-to-earth legend Kapil, who also might be aware of the comparisons made between himself and Pandya, surprised many. The former India captain said Pandya is better than him, but warned that one should not burden the player with pressure.
"Hardik Pandya is better than me. But he has to do a lot of hard work. It is still too early. We should not create unnecessary burden on him. He has the talent and ability to be a great player," "India TV" quoted Kapil as saying.
Pandya has become a mainstay of the Indian team as the player has been delivering the goods with both bat and ball, especially the former. His batting skills, including his attacking display, have already garnered positive reviews.
The all-rounder might be just 3 Tests, 24 ODIs and 19 T20I matches old, but there is a certain degree of maturity when he is on the cricket field as was witnessed in the third ODI against Australia in Indore.
The Aussies were trying to get under his skin, and Pandya, though was involved in some sort of verbal chatter, was not allowing such things to affect his performance on the field. He scored 78 runs.
With Pandya shining, pressure on MS Dhoni has decreased when it comes to finishing matches, which is a great thing for India cricket.