Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has said that Hardik Pandya falls into the category of players like Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni, who possess the ability to hunt down any total. Gambhir's appreciation for Pandya comes after the all-rounder slammed an unbeaten 42 off 22 deliveries in the second T20I against Australia, including two sixes in the final over bowled by Daniel Sams when India needed 14 runs to win.
Pandya, who helped India gain an unassailable 2-0 lead in the T20I series, was also adjudged Man of the Match for his heroics with the bat. The 27-year-old has been in stellar form in Australia, having finished as India's highest run-getter in the ODI series with 210 runs.
“Hardik Pandya has played these kinds of innings in the Indian Premier League, and when you come into international cricket on the back of good innings in the IPL, then your confidence is very high. Pandya has played innings like these for Mumbai Indians. So, in that sense, he did not do anything new on Sunday," Gambhir told ESPNCricinfo about Pandya's awe-inspiring batting show in the second T20I.
According to Gambhir, players like Pandya have no problems in scoring 20-25 runs in the last over. Pandya, however, had a topsy-turvy journey with the national side after undergoing back surgery.
The Surat-born all-rounder had missed India tour of New Zealand and the multi-series tour against Australia is Pandya's first international assignment this year. He also had a successful IPL stint in the UAE with Mumbai Indians (MI) where he scored 281 runs in 14 games at an impressive strike-rate of 178.98.
“There are very few players like Hardik Pandya, there was Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni earlier and there is Glenn Maxwell now, they are capable of chasing any total or any target. Even if you need 20-25 runs in the last over, these players make you believe that they can score it,” Gambhir further said.