Rahul Dravid : Hardik’s adaptation to every situation is his biggest strength

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BCCI

Rahul Dravid : Hardik’s adaptation to every situation is his biggest strength

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SportsCafe Desk

09/26/2017

Former India cricketer Rahul Dravid has praised India’s new hero, Hardik Pandya, stating that his adaptability to bat at any position is a bigger strength than his free-stroking abilities. The India A coach pointed out Pandya as a good template for youngsters aspiring to be all-situation players.

The ongoing series against Australia has made Hardik Pandya a household name in India for his aggressive batting approach and match-winning innings. His former coach Rahul Dravid, who closely observed him during India A’s tour of Australia last year, believes that the player has "turned his career around" by adapting to any batting at any position that is required of him.

"A good example about Hardik from my perspective is, he's willing to play situations and not just the natural game we often speak about. Credit goes completely to him. He's the one who has actually turned his career around," Dravid told ESPNcricinfo.

The all-rounder was selected in the team with an aim to add some depth to the lower middle order and he has proved the decision to be the correct one. His brilliant performance, alongside MS Dhoni in the Chennai ODI, after the top-order collapse, has helped him climb up the batting order. Kohli and Shastri decided to hand him a chance at the number 4 position in Indore after the openers put on a century stand, which now needed Pandya to stay and finish the game by chasing 294 runs. He successfully sustained the required tempo and almost helped India cross the finishing line with a timely 78-run knock.

"It's not about playing just the one way you want to play. If he bats at four, he bats in a particular way. If he bats at six, he bats in a particular way. Tomorrow, he may bat at 80 for 4, like he did in the first ODI with Dhoni. That shows maturity and that's what you want to see,” says a content Dravid.

“This concept of 'play your natural game', which I hear all the time, frustrates me because there's no such thing in my belief as 'natural game. It's only about how you play different situations. Are you good enough to play when the score is 30 for 3 or 250 for 3? Are you good enough to bat when you go in first over or are you good enough to go in the first ball after lunch?”

Dravid also believes that Pandya is creating a template for the Under-19 players of how a developing player should be, who according to him can make consistent contributions rather than producing brilliance once in a while. 

“… If you can do that like Hardik is showing at the moment, those would be signs of a developing cricketer, someone who can make consistent contributions and not a one-off. The aspiration and challenges set for a lot of India A players is to be all-weather players, all-situation players, all-condition players," Dravid concluded.

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