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Andrew Flintoff thinks Hardik Pandya is a ‘match winner’ but an ‘underrated’ one

Coming back from the seven-month injury layoff, Hardik Pandya has had a tremendous IPL stint ahead of the ICC World Cup.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Former England captain Andrew Flintoff feels India did well in picking up three all-rounders for their mission in the upcoming World Cup starting May 30. An effective all-rounder himself in his playing days, Freddie said all-rounders are a team’s assets not just in England but anywhere in the world. He said in the one-day format, it is not surprising to see a match-winner in someone who can deliver with both bat and ball. India has picked Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Vijay Shankar to do their job in the showpiece event.

Flintoff, who was speaking during an interaction organised by the World Cup Organising Committee in London on the occasion of launching the tournament’s official song ‘Stand By’ with vocalist LORYN and band ‘Rudimental’, was particularly kind on Hardik whom he called a “genuine match-winner”.

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Speaking to Mirror, Flintoff said: “I think he’s (Hardik) quite underrated but has a cool head and is a guy you want in your team in a chase. Hopefully, we will see the best of him this summer.”

Hardik has had a terrific IPL 2019

Hardik has had a terrific season for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League 2019, both with the bat and ball. However, it is his big hitting at the middle which has stood out and made the experts and fans harbour high hopes about him delivering the punch at the World Cup.

Hardik went through a tough phase for quite some time and could make a profound impact in the IPL eventually. He was out for a few months because of an injury that saw him getting stretchered out of the ground during the Asia Cup last September. Just when the ace all-rounder was about to make a comeback he was hit by an off-field controversy on a TV show hosted by Karan Johar.

It disrupted his journey again as he was temporarily suspended only to return mid-way in the series against New Zealand. However, yet another injury saw Hardik missing the home series against Australia, India’s last international assignment ahead of the World Cup. About Jadeja, Flintoff said he has given India “fire and fight” and felt that the left-arm cricketer will relish the tournament in England.

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