Legendary Indian cricketer Kapil Dev was all praise for all-rounder Hardik Pandya after his match-winning performance for Team India against Pakistan in their Asia Cup 2022 campaign opener, and said that he is a great athlete. India won their Asia Cup 2022 campaign opener against Pakistan on Sunday by five wickets. Hardik Pandya was the ‘Man of the Match’ for his match-winning 33* and a brilliant spell of 3/25, which saw him capture key scalps of Mohammed Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed and Khushdil Shah.
“That is where the team gets an advantage (presence of all-rounders like Hardik Pandya). You have Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja who can bowl their overs and bat well. Any all-rounder is a cherry on the cake for the team. Hardik and Jadeja are great athletes. Hardik has made us so proud. Only thing is that he has to look after himself. Because when a person of his ability gets injured, the whole team gets injured. His ability nobody can doubt, the only thing I am worried about sometimes is his injuries,” said Kapil during an exclusive interview with ANI.
Pandya returned to his fully fit avatar in 2022 after dealing with fitness issues over the years to lead Gujarat Titans to their maiden India Premier League (IPL) title in their debut season.
Throughout the season, Pandya led his side from the front with his all-round show, scoring 487 runs at an average of 44.27 in 15 games and hitting four fifties. He also took eight wickets for his side, including a match-winning 3/17 in the final.
Since then, he has shown exceptional form for India in T20Is and has played many crucial knocks, be it as an aggressor or an anchor.
In T20Is this year, Pandya has scored 314 runs across 13 innings in 14 matches at an average of 34.88. He has scored one half-century and various other crucial knocks. He has also taken 11 wickets for his side in 14 matches with best bowling figures of 4/33.
In three ODIs as well, he has hit 100 runs in two innings across three matches with an average of 50, with one fifty and the best score of 71. He has also taken six wickets across these three matches, with best figures of 4/24.
Pandya will remain a very important player for Team India in the upcoming ICC World T20 2022, which will take place from October-November this year.
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