Former England player Darren Gough believes the new crop of young Indian cricketers have set a blueprint for how cricket would take place in the next decade. Gough's comments come after seeing match-winning performances of Indian youngsters in the recently-concluded series against England.
In the series decider on Sunday, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya stitched a 99-run stand for the fifth wicket to make things difficult for England. India were 157/4 in 24.2 overs when the pair got together and their 99-run stand in just 70 balls took the game away from the visitors. India reached 329 and eventually won the game by restricting England to 322/9.
"In 10 years’ time, every player is going to play like that – Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya. So you better get used to it. That’s how everyone is going to play. You’ve seen the players – your Smith, Williamson, Root, who played according to the situation in certain extend… build an innings and expand right at the end with their strike rate," Gough said on talkSPORT.
"But the future is already here – Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer… all these guys, that’s the way everyone is going to play in 15 years’ time. Some fantastic batting."
Despite being in the middle when India had lost four wickets, the Pant-Hardik pair didn't shy away from taking chances. Pant, known for playing fearless brand of cricket, kept playing unorthodox shots as the duo smashed 99 runs in the next 11 overs, setting an example for the future generations to follow. Their 99-run stand was the fourth-highest fifth-wicket partnership in ODIs for India against England.
"India were disappointed when they went off with that score (329). That partnership between Pant and Pandya was so crucial for India, but the way they kept going was incredible. There were no nerves," Gough added.
"Pant was still trying to sweep doing the 'Dil Scoop' over his head, or stepping across the stumps and flicking over square leg, Hardik Pandya hitting sixes galore… I mean, Pandya just stands still, strong base and backs himself to clear the future. The future… right there."