ICC World Cup 2019, India vs South Africa: Numbers reveal the player who can be India’s X-factor against South Africa
Hardik Pandya played a crucial role in Mumbai Indians lifting the IPL title - the all-rounder was at his dominant best with the bat, and his power game was in many ways a revelation. There were also moments in the tournament when his bowling was impressive and this form should hold India in good stead when they take on South Africa in their opening match of the World Cup.
If we take a look at the numbers, Hardik has been an impact player for South Africa since the 2015 World Cup. For players who have faced more than 500 deliveries, Hardik’s strike-rate is the third best.
He ranks 2nd in the list of best balls per sixes hit ratio among batsmen who have smacked a minimum of 25 sixes in ODIs post the 2015 World Cup. As context, 29.54% of runs have come only through sixes.
Also, he finds the true batting surfaces in England to his liking and outside India, this is the country where he has enjoyed himself the most.
If we consider his batting record outside India, we find:
o Averages the best in England than in any other country
o Strike rate is the best in England
o The 2nd best balls per boundary ratio
“Pandya should play every game for India, he’s that glue between the batting and bowling and can make a whole lot of difference to the game,” former South African all-rounder Lance Klusener told Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview.
There is little doubt that he will be one of the key players for Virat Kohli and his finishing prowess will be needed for India to consistently aim for scores above 350, which could well be a par-score this tournament.