Former Australian opener Matthew Hayden heaped praise on Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya and he said that the ability to stay calm and handle the pressure is what is taking Hardik to the top.
The right-handed batter scored an unbeaten 71 runs from 30 balls to take India’s total to 208/6 in the first T20I against Australia in Mohali on Sept 20. He hit 7 boundaries and 5 sixes in his knock and along with 55 from KL Rahul and 46 from Suryakumar Yadav, took India to a good total.
Hardik batted with responsibility and kept the scorecard running to help his side score a huge total.
"He has got such great belief, talent is one thing, but trusting the fact you can be a match-winner and deliver on the day. We saw in the IPL that he batted at No. 4. We all thought 'uh, how is he going to go about it?'. But he batted so well," Matthew Hayden told Star Sports.
Hardik Pandya made his comeback in the IPL 2022 after a lengthy layoff during which he worked on his fitness and back issues. He captained the Gujarat Titans to IPL 15 title and has been bowling regularly for India in limited overs, providing great balance to the team.
"He is such an adaptable cricketer. He has grown a lot as a cricketer. The biggest thing is his belief in himself. His ability to be able to read the situation, know the pressure is there and then handle it and deliver, it's taking him to new levels," Hayden added.
Apart from Hayden, former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar also talked about Hardik's improved ability with the bat and said that the right-hander is now using both sides of the pitch.
"There came a time in his batting wherein he was only targeting on-side. He was literally covering the stumps and kept targeting the on-side. He had literally shut down his off-side. What he is doing now is, yes he is standing on the off-stump, but he is clearing his front foot and giving himself room to access both sides. That is where I think he has become such a destructive player. When a player of his caliber," Bangar said.
(Star Sport Inputs)