Michael Vaughan has remarked that Hardik Pandya should bat in the top five for India in both ODIs and T20Is if he remains 100 percent fit to bowl. Vaughan's comments came after Hardik's superb show in Southampton on July 7, where he took four wickets and scored 51 runs to help India beat England.
Ever since Hardik Pandya returned to full fitness during IPL 2022, the star all-rounder has been performing with both bat and ball more often than not. His recent collective show came in Southampton during India's first of three-match T20I series against England. Coming at No. 5, the 28-year-old scored 51 off 33 balls, laced with six fours and one six, to take India to 198/8 batting first. Then with the ball, he returned excellent figures of 4-33 to restrict England to 148 in 19.3 overs. In the process, he became the first player of the country to do the double (50+ runs and four wickets) in a T20I match.
Speaking with Cricbuzz, former England captain Michael Vaughan heaped praise on Hardik, saying the star all-rounder should be included in India's top five in limited-overs cricket with the form that he has been carrying. Vaughan also highlighted with Hardik's addition, India have certainly found much more balance in the lineup.
"If Hardik can bowl 6-8 overs in 50-over games then it will help India immensely. He should bat in the top five in any white-ball format. They always had batters and bowlers but didn't have anyone in the top five who could bowl a few overs," Vaughan said on Cricbuzz.
Further, the former England skipper lauded Hardik for staging an excellent overall show for Gujarat Titans to lead them to win the IPL 2022 trophy in their debut season.
"I think the way he batted in the IPL was special. If he bats in the top five then it gives so much depth as India can then play an extra batter, extra pacer, or spinner depending on conditions. Hardik was exceptional with bat and ball. Picked up those four wickets and had a nearly perfect game. Couldn't do anything wrong today. A big, big victory for India to start the series," he added.