Amidst the growing comparisons between Hardik Pandya and Kapil Dev, Mohammad Azharuddin has stated that such a connection should not be made since there could never be another Kapil Dev. Azharuddin also hoped that India would use the victory in the final Test as a springboard to win the ODI series.
Hardik Pandya’s gritty 93 in the first innings of the first Test of India's ongoing tour of South Africa the comparisons with legendary Kapil Dev being made again. Pandya, who emerged as a fast bowling all-rounder, immediately drew comparisons with the legendary Indian captain despite being in the infancy of his career.
With many, including Kapil Dev, giving the comparisons some sort of legitimacy, Mohammad Azharuddin has rejected the idea
"It is not advisable to do that. It is not good because there can never be another Kapil Dev. It is very difficult to get another Kapil Dev as the amount of hard work and workload he took over a period of time - he used to bowl 20-25 overs in a day - not many people can do it now,” PTI quoted the 54-year-old.
India had a torrid start to the South Africa tour as they lost the first two matches of the series after the batting order failed to perform. In the final Test, however, it was a different story as the batsman showed their class on a wicket that was given a poor rating by the ICC. But it was still the bowlers, who became the first Indian unit to take all the wickets in all the matches of the series, that played the starring role in the victory.
"The bowlers won the last Test match. They really put South African batsmen under pressure. We were a bit unlucky that we could not get the series our way,” the former Indian captain said.
"It is good that we won the last Test. We redeemed our prestige. The team played very well in tough conditions. It was not an easy wicket to play on.They batted well, bowled well everything clicked together. I am very happy with the team's victory. In the ODIs, hopefully, our batting will click and we will win the series."
But it wasn't just the performance on the field that was questioned. The India management decided to pick Rohit Sharma for the first two Tests of the series instead of a much more reliable Ajinkya Rahane. While most experts believed that Rohit's form at home had played a big part in the management's decision, Bhuvneshwar Kumar being snubbed for the second Test, despite picking up six wickets including 4/87 in the first Test in Cape Town, created a real furore. Azharuddin believed that the decision eventually stayed with the management and the captain on whether to play certain players.
"I think they (Rahane and Bhuvneshwar) could have been played, but the captain and the team
Apart from the Indian senior team, the U-19 team has been creating a lot of news as well. The Colts have won all their games, en route to the final, in the World Cup and capped that off with a memorable 203 run win against Pakistan in the semi-final. The former Indian captain wished the team the best for the final and reserved special praise for Shubhman Gill and Kamlesh Nagarkoti for their role in guiding the team to the final.
"All the best boys. They have done the nation proud. Today's game - to get a team all out for 69 speaks volumes of the talent they possess. I hope they come back with the World Cup.
"It is always good to give them opportunities when they are doing well. Look at Pandya and Bumrah," Azhar said talking about Gill and