Sunil Gavaskar has praised Hardik Pandya saying he will be the game-changer for the Indian team in future games with his all-round skills after India lost the first T20I to South Africa. Gavaskar added that he wants to see Hardik bowling with the new ball in a few games for the national team.
After coming from a back injury, Hardik Pandya made a memorable return to the game as he led Gujarat Titans to their maiden title in IPL 2022. Hardik also contributed with his all-round skills scoring runs consistently and also bowling on a few occasions. Hardik amassed 487 runs from 15 matches in IPL 2022 at 44.27 and picked eight wickets in the tournament.
Courtesy of his performance, he has been picked in the Indian team for the South Africa series. In the first T20I of the series, Hardik scored unbeaten 31 runs from 12 balls and bowled one over as well. Sunil Gavaskar has praised Hardik for his performance in recent times and said that he can be a game-changer for India in the future. Gavaskar also wants to see the all-rounder bowling in the powerplay.
"I think he is going to be the game-changer for India, more often than not, in all the matches that are due to come, not just the World Cup but every single match that India plays, whether he bats at No. 5, whether he comes into bowl at first change or second change. Sometimes I will actually want to see him with the new ball," Gavaskar said while speaking on Star Sports.
The second T20I of the series will be played on June 12 in Barabati Stadium, Cuttack.