Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik believes Hardik Pandya will play a huge impact in the upcoming T20 World Cup. Since sustaining a back injury in 2019, the Indian all-rounder has been unable to contribute in both the departments.
Over the past few months, he's been not a regular bowler for India and Mumbai Indians (MI). In the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka, Hardik managed to score 19 and 0 in the two ODIs. But Karthik believes Pandya can be one of the key players who's always ready for a fight.
“When you want to win big tournaments, you need characters, people who are up for a fight. For India, that [character] is Hardik Pandya for me. He is there with the ball, he is there with the bat, and he plays a critical role with the bat because every time India has floundered a little bit or want to up their run-rate, he is the guy.
"He can hit most bowlers to most parts of the ground… one of the reasons I really enjoy him. Even [with] his bowling, he is very clever; he is gone on to become the leader of the pack. You can see him talking to the other bowlers,” said Karthik.
During a conversation with Isa Guha and former West Indies captain Daren Sammy for broadcaster Sky Sports, Karthik was asked to name three picks who can do well at the mega-event.
The Indian veteran said that Pooran is someone who is special and he will be one of the greatest T20 batsmen once he finishes his career.
“For me, Nicholas Pooran is someone who is special. When he finishes his career, he’ll be one of the T20 greats because of the way he bats. There’s something called bat swing, and he has probably got the best bat swing cricket. He could hit a cricket ball farther than most have ever done. He is a very, very important player if West Indies want to move forward in the tournament,” Karthik said.
Furthermore, Karthik also talked about the impact of Mitchell Starc on the Australian team. He said the speedster has found his rhythm back and has got his sheer pace back.
“Mitchell Starc, if he comes, good for Australia. He’d be bowling those important overs for Australia upfront at the death. He has not been going too well, of late. But in the last series against West Indies, especially in the ODI format, he’s found his rhythm back. He has got the ball to come back in, and he has got people [out] with sheer pace. I am hoping that he holds onto that. Because if Australia has to do any damage in this tournament, he is going to be a key player,” he added.