'A step ahead of opposition': Virat Kohli's childhood coach heaps praise on Hardik Pandya

Jan 31, 2023 07:59 AM IST

Hardik Pandya marshalled his troops admirably on a tricky pitch during the second T20I against New Zealand in Lucknow.

Hardik Pandya has won seven out of the 10 matches in which he has led India thus far. The latest of those wins was a rather hard earned one which came on an tricky pitch against New Zealand in Lucknow. Pandya earned plaudits for how he used his spinners on the pitch, although there was some criticism for the fact that he gave Yuzvendra Chahal just two overs despite the fact that the 32-year-old took the important wicket of Finn Allen and gave just four runs.

Pandya led India over the line with Suryakumar Yadav on a tricky pitch during the 2nd T20I(Getty Images)
Pandya led India over the line with Suryakumar Yadav on a tricky pitch during the 2nd T20I(Getty Images)

Virat Kohli's childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma expressed his admiration for Pandya as a captain. Pandya's potential to be a good captain was first seen in the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL), in which he led the Gujarat Titans to the title in their very first season in the league. "Hardik Pandya has been outstanding as a captain," Sharma said on India News Sports.

Sharma noted that Pandya likes to be at the forefront during challenging situations. "He is a very positive captain. He keeps himself in front during challenging situations. He doesn't shy away from taking responsibility. His thought process is very good and he understands the game well. He is a street-smart cricketer who is a step ahead of the opposition," he said.

Sharma also hailed Pandya for the manner in which he has improved as an all-rounder. The 28-year-old has been opening the bowling for India in this series and showed great restraint in taking the team over the line with the bat alongwith Suryakumar Yadav in the second T20I. "Hardik Pandya has worked very hard on his bowling. He was out with an injury for a very long time. It is very tough for a fast bowler to come back from an injury. He is very confident and has consistently clocked 140 kmph. Earlier, we used to preserve him and not bowl him much. He has now become a very potent all-rounder," said Sharma.

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