'If Kapil Dev says he wants to give advice...': Abdul Razzaq breaks silence on controversial remark on Hardik Pandya
Former Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq had earlier claimed that superstar Hardik Pandya is not as good as legendary cricketer Kapil Dev. Pandya will lead defending champions Gujarat Titans in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Remember when Abdul Razzaq called Jasprit Bumrah a 'baby bowler' or when the former Pakistan all-rounder openly claimed that Hardik Pandya is nowhere near Kapil Dev? The Pakistani star of the yesteryear is no stranger to courting controversies, especially in Indian cricket. Razzaq, who has the distinction of dismissing Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar six times in One Day International (ODI) cricket, recently opened up about his controversial statement against all-rounder Pandya.
Talking about his red-hot take on Pandya, the former Pakistan cricketer clarified that his statement about the Indian all-rounder was misconstrued by the critics. Giving a special mention to legendary cricketer Kapil, the former Pakistani all-rounder also showered praise on Pandya. Indian all-rounder Pandya recently made his captaincy debut in ODIs during the Australia series. Pandya will lead defending champions Gujarat Titans in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
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"My earlier statement on Hardik Pandya was taken the wrong way. I didn't mean it. As a cricketer, I just said there is scope for improvement in him (Pandya). I didn't comment on a player who is from India, England, or Australia. I just said things as a cricketer. If Kapil Dev says that he wants to give advice to Abdul Razzaq, I will take this statement positively," Razzaq told Times of India.
Razaaq branded Pandya as the driving force of the Indian side and the ex-cricketer also acknowledged the GT skipper as a clean hitter of the ball. Though Razzaq hailed Pandya as a match-winner, the ex-Pakistani all-rounder also opined that there is always room for improvement. White-ball maverick Pandya has played 74 ODIs and 87 T20Is for Team India.
“He can work on a couple of things which according to him are areas of improvement - in terms of foot movement, bat movement, and how to judge a delivery before it is bowled. That was what I meant earlier. That was just a statement as a former all-rounder. People took it the wrong way and criticised me as well,” Razzaq added.
Razzaq had earlier questioned the fitness standards of all-rounder Pandya. The ex-Pakistan star had cited Mohammad Amir's example to warn Pandya in one of his previous statements against the Indian star. "Hardik is a complete all-rounder. But no one is perfect. Everyone needs improvement in certain areas. When I was playing, I also lacked certain things. Wasim Akram was the same, Imran Khan was the same, Kapil Dev was the same. But still, we consider them all to be greats of the game," the former Pakistan all-rounder concluded.