If currently there is one player that every team would want in their squad – it would be Ben Stokes. The England all-rounder has been in sublime form and he is doing everything right on the field. Stokes is producing results with both bat and ball and he is making a huge impact. The talisman was at his best as he scored 254 runs in the second Test match against West Indies at Old Trafford, Manchester and also snared three wickets.
Former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan reckons India has the potential to produce a player like Ben Stokes. Pathan feels Hardik Pandya has shown the right promise to be a world-class all-rounder but he needs to do more than he is doing right now.
Pandya has shown that he can add the finishing touches in the limited overs format as he can hit the ground running. The right-arm pacer can also bowl around 135 kmph and he has improved his bowling. However, there is no doubt that Pandya is still work in progress and has a lot of homework to do.
“We have potential in the country,” Pathan said while talking to Star Sports Cricket Connected. “It’s not like we don’t have any potential. We have Hardik Pandya, we tried Vijay Shankar for some time.
“If you look at Hardik Pandya’s career, even in the small number of matches, he needs to go one or two steps ahead of what he’s doing at the moment,” Pathan said.” It’s all about winning matches. No doubt, he’s got all the potential, which he has, and in terms of support that he is getting as well [from the team].
Pathan feels Pandya can produce numbers like Ben Stokes if he bats up the order for the national team if the team combination is not perturbed. Irfan added that Pandya has delivered the goods while batting higher in the batting order for his IPL side – Mumbai Indians, and he can do the same for the Indian team.
Hardik Pandya will be coming back after injury and recently stated that he wants to concentrate more on the limited-overs format than the red-ball version. Pandya added that he feels his body might not be ready to take the hardships of Test cricket. The all-rounder recently had a back surgery and he has been out of action for a long time.
There are huge expectations from Hardik Pandya as India hasn’t had a great seam bowling all-rounder since former captain Kapil Dev has retired. It is too early to compare Hardik Pandya with the legendary player but he has shown the skills to go a long way, at least in the white-ball formats.