Hardik has changed completely, has given us more strength, proclaims Yuzvendra Chahal
Hardik Pandya has had a great comeback into the Indian team, performing with both bat and ball|
Yuzvendra Chahal has lauded teammate Hardik Pandya for his fantastic comeback after a long break due to injury, stating the all-rounder's newly unlocked batting potential has helped the team gain an edge. He went on to comment upon Pandya's lethal bouncers, highlighting his hard work in the process.
Things have been coming together well for India in the run-up to major T20 tournaments, with their key players performing at high levels while the backups push for a place in the starting XI with consistent cameos. It could be argued that the most key component that has fit back into place as far as the team is concerned is Hardik Pandya who has excelled in his role as a seaming all-rounder.
The man from Gujarat was missing in action post the World T20 last year owing to troubles with his back before returning for the Indian Premier League as skipper of the newly established Gujarat Titans. There, he excelled with the bat, ending up as his team's highest run-getter with 487 at a phenomenal average of 44.27. Such performances paved his path for a comeback to the international team and two half-centuries on the tour of England indicated Pandya was ready to translate his form onto the big stage.
"Hardik has changed completely, we saw him batting at No.7 earlier. I think when he went to Gujarat Titans from Mumbai Indians, he realised he can bat higher up the order. Any batter who can hit right from the crease, it is difficult to bowl to him. He is batting like a proper batter, which has given us more strength," said Chahal on Sports Yaari as reported by NDTV.
However, the 28-year-old exercised some restraint with the ball in the IPL, only averaging two overs a match in order to slowly nurse himself back to full fitness. The decision has paid dividends since he has been regularly bowling his full quota of overs for the Men in Blue in the ongoing international season. Pandya is expected to play a major role when the World T20 gets underway Down Under in October, considering that Australian pitches provide plenty to bowlers who hit the deck hard.
"He is bowling his four overs also, with him coming back, it has really helped our side. He bowls a quick bouncer, if you see it from square off, his bouncer is really deceptive. It shows how much he worked hard when he was out due to injury," Chahal added.
Hardik is expected to next be in action at the Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates beginning on August 27.