As Hardik Pandya’s sensation return to cricket continues, Sanjay Bangar has lauded India’s star all-rounder by calling him an ‘extremely versatile player’ who has worked tirelessly to improve his game’s foundation. Bangar has also highlighted Hardik's finisher role for India, alongside MS Dhoni.
Hardik Pandya has been the major talking point in Indian cricket following his scintillating IPL 2022 campaign with Gujarat Titans. He contributed with both bat and ball, scoring 487 runs and taking eight wickets as a captain, to help his side register the title in their debut season. Because of that, he was rewarded as India's vice-captain for the ongoing South Africa series, with Rishabh Pant taking the charge.
In the series opener in Delhi, Hardik showed a glimpse of how he used to bat in national colours in his initial years. The all-rounder scored an unbeaten 31 off just 12 balls, with three sixes and two fours, which was not enough to snatch a victory against South Africa. With the ball, in his only over, Hardik conceded 18 runs without any success.
Speaking on the Star Sports show 'Follow the Blues', Sanjay Bangar praised Hardik for his game improvement. The former Indian batting coach said Hardik has worked really hard to become 'extremely versatile', which allows any team to bat him anywhere between No. 4 and No. 6.
"He is an extremely versatile player who has worked very well on his game's foundation. You can play him at No. 4 also and at No. 6 as well. Whenever I used to talk to Hardik, he used to always say that he wants to have a good foundation, he always paid a lot of attention to that. That is a transformation. When your game is sorted out, you can mould your game according to every situation," Bangar said on the Star Sports show 'Follow the Blues'.
Further, when recalling his coaching tenure with India, Bangar highlighted how well Hardik worked alongside MS Dhoni as finishers during his initial playing days. Bangar believes it has helped Hardik to become a much-improved player at the highest level.
"He (Hardik) is a player who has played the finisher's role for a very long time for the Indian team. He has shared experiences and built partnerships with MS Dhoni and other lower-order batters. So I feel he is a versatile player," Bangar added.