'Just like Dhoni and Yuvraj...': Gavaskar compares Pandya, Pant to legendary India cricketers, makes big prediction
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has reserved big praise for the young duo of Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya, saying that the two batters have what it takes to replicate the success of MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh in their time.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has reserved big praise for the young duo of Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya, saying that the two batters have what it takes to replicate the success of MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh in their time. In the early 2000s, Yuvraj and Dhoni were part of some of the most memorable match-winning partnerships in Indian cricket, including their unbeaten 54-run stand against Sri Lanka in the 2011 World Cup final.
On Sunday, as Pant and Pandya starred in India's five-wicket series clinching win against England, with a partnership of 133 runs, Gavaskar made a huge prediction about the pair. The cricket icon believes the Pant-Pandya pair can go a long way and win many more matches for India just like Yuvraj and Dhoni did.
"It can definitely happen," Gavaskar told Sports Tak when asked if Pant and Pandya's pair can replicate the success MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh experienced as a duo. The kind of sixes Yuvraj and Dhoni used to hit, the way they steadied the innings, the way they ran between the wicket, Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant can be that pair for India. And just like Dhoni and Yuvraj used to hit sixes, I hope Pandya and Pant can win the hearts of cricket fans."
Between 2005 and 2017, Dhoni and Yuvraj batted with each other for India on 67 occasions and out together 3105 runs at an average of 51.75, including 10 century and 13 fifty-run stands. The 158-run partnership against Zimbabwe in 2005, 102 not out against Australia in 2013, 148 against Australia again in 2009 and another unbeaten 102-run alliance against Pakistan in 2006 are some of the most memorable partnerships shared by Dhoni and Yuvraj. Their highest partnership in ODIs came in 2017, when Dhoni and Yuvraj added a massive 256-run stand for the fourth wicket with both scoring a century each.