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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Hardik Pandya happy to be even 10 per cent as good as Kapil Dev was for India

Hardik Pandya reveals he will be happy if he can become even ten per cent of the player Kapil Dev was for India, saying he simply wants to be the best he can be.

india-vs-sri-lanka-2017 Updated: Aug 15, 2017 22:40 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Hardik Pandya celebrates after scoring his maiden century for India against Sri Lanka.
Hardik Pandya celebrates after scoring his maiden century for India against Sri Lanka. (AFP)

Hardik Pandya’s first Test series ended on a high note with the all-rounder scoring his first century in the final match between India and Sri Lanka. Playing only his third Test, Pandya scored a century that took India to a mammoth total of 487 runs, essentially ensuring a victory for the visitors.

His performance even prompted chairman of selectors MSK Prasad to say he was a potential heir to Kapil Dev. But Hardik Pandya said he would be happy to become even a fraction of the player Kapil Dev was.

“Obviously my focus is to play my cricket and just become what I can become. Even if I can be 10 per cent of what Kapil Dev was, I will be pretty happy in my life,” said Pandya during a press conference in Sri Lanka.

‘Dhoni advice helped’

Hardik Pandya also noted that a key lesson from MS Dhoni helped him stay calm when he was batting and reached a score of 90.

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“First time in my life I have not had the 90s butterfly. Otherwise, I don’t remember previous centuries, but I used to have butterflies from what I can remember. In today’s game when I batted I was in a different zone. When I bat, I don’t think about my personal scores and achievements. It has helped me enough.

“One thing I learned from Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) is that you always put your team ahead, see the scoreboard and play accordingly. That has helped me throughout,” said Pandya.

Father amazed at T20-style knock

Hardik Pandya’s ton featured the kind of big hitting normally seen in Twenty20 cricket, which is one of the reasons why his own father was amazed he managed to score a century at Pallekele.

“I didn’t expect this century so early in his career, but I am confident about his good show as he is improving day by day,” said Himanshu Pandya to Mid-Day.

“We did not expect him to score such a T20-like knock to reach his century. The way he played after his 50, was superb. We enjoyed his century,” he added.

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He also said that if his son batted similarly against Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy final, India might have won the trophy.

“If Hardik would only have played like he did today against Pakistan in that Champions Trophy final, we would easily beat them and won the tournament.”

First Published: Aug 15, 2017 14:58 IST