Hardik Pandya, an Indian cricketer, is one of the most sought-after all-rounders in white-ball cricket today. However, the Baroda player claims that he became an all-rounder by chance.
Hardik Pandya and Kapil Dev, a former all-rounder, took part in the Hindustan Times NxT 2021 on Thursday (September 09). Pandya was asked about how he become an all-rounder during the debate.
During U19 cricket, the 28-year-old said he improved his bowling skills by assisting his bowlers in managing their workload. He also said that he used to borrow fast bowling shoes from his friends because he didn’t have any.
“It was straightforward for me. By chance, I became an all-rounder. When I first started bowling, I was assisting my U19 bowlers who were exhausted from bowling so much. I used to bat at No. 3 as a hitter. I borrowed their shoes because I didn’t have any fast-bowling shoes of my own.”
Hardik Pandya is an important member of India’s white-ball squad. Due of his ability to chip in with the ball as a seamer, he gives balance to the playing XI. Despite his inability to bowl regularly in recent years due to recurrent back problems, the seam-bowling all-rounder would most likely play third seamer during the T20 World Cup next month.
‘I borrowed someone’s shoes and got a five-for’ – Hardik Pandya recalls his journey from being a specialist batsman to an all-rounder
Hardik also told how he managed to impress Sanathh Kumar, his academy coach, during a local game.
Sanathh was impressed by his five-wicket haul in a local game in the absence of regular seamers, according to the Mumbai Indians cricketer. He got recruited for the Ranji squad a month later.
“From about 200 meters away, Sanathh Kumar sir was watching our U19 practice. Next day he came to witness our local game, where I played for Kiran More Academy. It was a green top, and there was no quick bowler available. I got a five-for in one game by borrowing someone’s shoes. That’s why I say it’s pure luck. Sanath sir then included me in the Ranji Trophy squad a month later. I had never bowled before.”
Hardik Pandya has progressed significantly since then. It’s fair to assume that his performance with both the bat and the ball in the next T20 World Cup could be the deciding factor for Team India.