Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh has declared that Indian power-hitter Hardik Pandya is as good as Andre Russell or even better given he can hit sixes on will. He added that Pandya always had the ability but now he can bat consistently and is not a one-trick pony as he has established on this tour.
Andre Russell who has hammered 458 sixes in 345 T20s is considered as one of the best six-hitters in the world and his finishing prowess has made him a household figure in the cricketing circles. Drawing comparisons with the West Indies power house, Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has affirmed that explosive batsman Hardik Pandya is a proper finisher and may be even better than Andre Russell after the Indian all-rounder helped India win the second T20I on Sunday against Australia with a 22-ball 42* and as a result, India gained an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the three-match series .
Harbhajan reckons that Pandya's confidence is building fast and he can hit sixes on will and now he has started to win games consistently too.
“Confidence is building every day. He [Pandya] is someone who is a proper finisher for Team India. He is as good as Russell, maybe better than, I would say. He is hitting sixes at will,” Harbhajan was quoted by India Today, reported Hindustan Times.
“He [Pandya] always had the talent. We knew he could hit big sixes. But now he has been playing consistently, he has got the idea of staying there and finishing the game,” he added.
The renowned cricket expert also feels that Pandya never shies away from responsibility and is a matured batsman with a good technique.
“At the same time, he has got the technique as well. He is someone who can take singles as well. He is not someone who just likes to hit sixes. He is a very, very mature batsman, he has got a good technique. It’s good to see him taking up the responsibility and finishing off the game like he did today,” Harbhajan said.
In second T20I what stood out about the hard-hitting batsman was how he remained patient despite clearly not timing the ball and missing many deliveries in the initial part of his match-winning knock. Bhajji also noted the same and opined that he's not only attacking but very sensible as well and knows when to attack a certain bowler.
“He is a very attacking player but very sensible. He knows which bowler to choose to go after. It’s good to see him showing that maturity. His batting is as good as any batsman. If he can bowl a couple of overs, it will be the icing on the cake,” Harbhajan added further.
After already sealing the T20I series with the Sydney win, India will take on Australia in the dead rubber in the third and final T20I tomorrow at the same venue again after which they are scheduled to play a day-night warm-up game ahead of their first Test match in Adelaide from December 17.