'We don't have player like Hardik. That makes a difference': PAK's WC-winning pacer on comparing India, Pakistan teams

Published on Aug 14, 2022 07:06 AM IST

India had lost by 10 wickets in their last meeting against their arch-nemesis, in 2021 T20 World Cup, in Dubai. And ahead of their blockbuster Asia Cup clash at the same venue, Pakistan's World Cup-winning pacer made a huge claim as he compared the two sides.

Hardik Pandya(BCCI/Twitter)
Hardik Pandya(BCCI/Twitter)

After a gap of four years, the Asia Cup tournament is all set to return later in August in the UAE where India will face Pakistan in the second match of the 2022 edition at the Dubai International Stadium. India had lost by 10 wickets in their last meeting against their arch-nemesis, in 2021 T20 World Cup, at the same venue. And ahead of their blockbuster clash in Dubai, former Pakistan pacer Aaqib Javed made a huge claim as he compared the two sides.

Speaking to Paktv.tv, Pakistan's World Cup-winning pace bowler, opined that the difference lies in the middle-order line-up in the batting department. He feels both teams have top-order batters who posses match-winning skill, but the difference truly stands in the presence of all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

“The difference between the two teams lies in their batting. India's batting is still more experienced. If a batter like Rohit Sharma clicks, he can single-handedly win the match for India. Similarly with Fakhar Zaman. If he plays with control, he can win the match for Pakistan. But the middle-order line-up of India and Pakistan, that's the difference. Also their all-rounder, that makes a difference. Because Pakistan does not have a Hardik Pandya like all-rounder,” he said.

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Hardik was part of the Indian team that had lost to Pakistan in Dubai last October. But the India star had featured in the XI solely as a batter. With India lacking a sixth-bowling option amid the onslaught from captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, the Pakistan opening pair raced away with the game, scripting a historic 10-wicket win against the Men in Blue.

Hardik thereafter made himself unavailable for selection and only returned to action in IPL 2022 where he showed his ability to play as all-rounder yet again. Following his impressive show, Hardik was recalled to the India T20I side before he cemented his spot yet again for the Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.

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