While much of the attention was on Dinesh Karthik after the fourth match of the ongoing T20I series between India and South Africa, star all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s contribution went unmentioned, despite the fact that he is normally in the news because of his flashy nature.
However, that was not the case on Friday, when he was overshadowed by Dinesh Karthik's performance. Fans are aware, though, that it was Pandya who played himself in and allowed DK to get going. He hit 46 runs off 31 deliveries, and he was able to hit the ball as most of his teammates failed.
Former India cricketer Zaheer Khan, who saw Pandya up close and personal at Mumbai Indians, believes that number four should be Pandya's 'ideal position to bat.'
Talking to Cricbuzz, Zaheer said, “He would like to be number four ideally. He does understand what the team requires and how he should mold his game. If you lose early wickets, at number five….that’s the situation he thrives upon.
“Since this IPL, it is very visible that he is enjoying such a challenge. He is not looking rushed. So that’s the beauty of his batting at the moment. And that’s the part I am enjoying. As a batter, if you feel that ‘I am in control and I can change the gears any time I require’, that’s when you get that confidence.”
Pandya's ability to bat up the order, as well as to bowl with the new ball gives India the perfect balance, according to him, which will make Rahul Dravid extremely happy.
“When you lose early wickets as a team, you need a temperament like that. Someone who is assured of his ability, but also absorbs pressure which means slowing down. So, if he can maintain this form and bowl, then that’s the best thing for maintaining the team’s balance. So. Rahul Dravid will be very happy and the Indian team management will be very happy.”
“The balance they look to achieve becomes very easy to achieve when he(Pandya) is in this kind of form.”