Hardik Pandya has opened gates of criticism for himself after failing to justify his all-rounder tag. Pandya has not delivered in both aspects and that has been a big concern for the men in blue. He is in the team to serve as an all-rounder. But going by his recent form, that doesn't go well for the purpose.
Former Indian all-rounder Roger Binny has questioned Pandya's image of an all-rounder. He considers him lucky to be regarded as an all-rounder in the team. “He’s lucky to get viewed as an allrounder. He doesn’t contribute with the bat. He is chipping in with the ball, and that’s why he’s been able to keep his place in the team,” said Binny.
The 24-year-old, after a ferocious 93 in his debut Test on South African land, has failed to make a praiseworthy impression. His 93-run innings was followed by 1, 15, 6, 0 & 4 in next five innings.
Roger, who was part of India's World Cup 1983 triumph, expressed that it’s time to stop comparing Pandya with the legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev. “As a batsman, he’s no patch on Kapil Dev. Kapil got hundreds in first-class cricket before he broke into India’s Test side. Pandya hasn’t scored runs in first-class cricket before playing at the top level. He has got into the Test team based on his exploits in T20 cricket. Limited-overs cricket is a different ball game altogether - you can get runs in those formats because the field is spread out,” observes Binny.
“He has to bat up the order in first-class for Baroda and score runs there, otherwise it’ll be difficult for him to settle in and perform in Test cricket. I don’t think he’ll be able to play much of domestic cricket though.”
Like others, Binny too thinks Pandya doesn't give himself time to settle before going after bowler. Trying to hit everything thrown at him has cost him. “He’s trying to hit everything from ball one, which is impossible. He tries to play too many strokes and doesn’t look to settle down,” he analyses.
However, Kiran More, India's former wicket-keeper and Pandya's coach in Baroda, came in his trainee's support. “If you talk about the Tests, how many batsmen got even a fifty there? That 93 of his was like scoring a 150.”