Hardik Pandya has seen a massive change since his return to international cricket. Ever since he made a comeback at IPL 2022 where he led Gujarat Titans to victory, the fans have seen an entirely different avatar of the Baroda all-rounder. An aggressive, all-guns blazing avatar who would stop at nothing.
His batting has probably undergone the biggest change and he is now much more comfortable batting at four where he usually batted during the entire IPL campaign. After his knock of 71 runs against Australia, many cricketing experts are backing Hardik Pandya, even some are comparing him with England’s all-rounder, Ben Stokes.
Rashid Latif Opens Up On Comparisons Between Hardik Pandya And Ben Stokes
But one person is not in favour of this statement. Former Pakistan Captain Rashid Latif claimed on his YouTube Channel (Caught Behind) that Hardik Pandya cannot be compared with Ben Stokes. He said, “I’m not referring to the game today, but Ben Stokes has a proven record. He won Test matches for England and the World Cup too,”. While comparing the two on the basis of trophies, “Stokes is way ahead of Hardik based on the international trophies,” he added.
Rashid Latif is clearly one of the trophy-centric people, and we can assert this based on his statement. While going forward with his comparison, Latif said, “So, I don’t think you can even compare when it comes to (performances) on the ground. Because a trophy is a trophy. Ben Stokes is way ahead of Hardik in that. Having said that, yes, some of Hardik’s innings have been better than Ben Stokes, but having better innings and being better than Stokes are two completely different things.”
Hardik Pandya will once again play a crucial role for Team India, when the Indian Team will take on Australia in the second T20I match at the VCA Stadium, Nagpur.
Jasprit Bumrah’s fitness status will be a matter of attention when an out-of-sorts Indian team will look at course correction options against Australia in the second T20 International and strive to keep the three-match series alive, here Friday.
Bumrah, who has been out of action since the end of the England tour, skipped the Asia Cup due to a back injury but he was included in the squad against Australia. However, to everyone’s surprise, the team management didn’t play him during the high-scoring first T20I in Mohali, raising doubts about whether he has still attained peak fitness or not.
To compound the team’s worries, the ‘three-and-a-half’ pronged pace attack, including Hardik Pandya, conceded 150 runs in 14 overs.