“A step ahead of the opposition”


Virat Kohli’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma was mighty impressed with Hardik Pandya’s captaincy following India’s six-wicket win over New Zealand in the second T20I of the series on Sunday, January 29.

Sharma lauded Pandya for leading the side from the front with both bat and ball. He feels that being a street-smart cricketer, the all-rounder is always one step ahead of the opposition.

“Hardik Pandya has been outstanding as a captain,” Sharma said in a video uploaded on India News Sports. “He is a very positive captain. He keeps himself in front during challenging situations. He doesn’t shy away from taking responsibility. His thought process is very good and he understands the game well. He is a street-smart cricketer who is a step ahead of the opposition.”

Notably, Pandya has received praise from all quarters for his captaincy stint. Under his leadership, the Men in Blue have secured T20I series victories over Ireland, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka.

India claimed a crucial six-wicket win over New Zealand in Lucknow to level the ongoing three-match series at 1-1. Chasing 100 runs, the Men in Blue crossed the line with one ball to spare.

The series decider will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Wednesday, February 1.

“Has now become a very potent all-rounder” – Rajkumar Sharma on Hardik Pandya

Rajkumar Sharma also pointed out how Hardik Pandya has bowled quite regularly in international cricket since making his return to the side.

He mentioned that the 29-year-old was used sparingly as a bowler in the past, considering his injury issues. Sharma lauded Pandya for working hard on his fitness and bowling.

“Hardik Pandya has worked very hard on his bowling,” he added. “He was out with an injury for a very long time. It is very tough for a fast bowler to come back from an injury. He is very confident and has consistently clocked 140 kmph. Earlier, we used to preserve him and not bowl him much. He has now become a very potent all-rounder.”

Pandya has opened the bowling for India in the side’s recent T20I matches. The pacer has bowled crucial overs for his side. In the second T20I against New Zealand, he finished with figures of 1/25 in four overs.

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