‘Hardik Pandya doesn't have to be MS Dhoni’ - Aakash Chopra shares his thoughts on Tilak Varma's 49* controversy

"Hardik Pandya has been trolled a lot and has been criticized," said Chopra.

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Aakash Chopra and Hardik Pandya
Aakash Chopra and Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: Twitter and RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)

Hardik Pandya has faced a lot of criticism for denying Tilak Varma a well-deserved half-century in the third T20I against West Indies in Guyana. Notably, the 20-year-old was batting on 49* when the all-rounder took the matter into his own hands and hit a six to finish off the game in style. Soon after that, Pandya was subjected to massive criticism as he was reminded of MS Dhoni’s gesture towards Virat Kohli in the past.

Speaking about the same, former India cricketer Aakash Chopra defended Pandya and stated that cricketers don’t really look for milestones in T20 cricket and hence, it should not be considered in the first place. He also went on to add that even though Hardik considers MS Dhoni to be his idol, it’s not necessary for him to follow the same path all the time.

“It's an interesting one. Hardik Pandya has been trolled a lot and has been criticized. But there's another school of thought that says, why are you talking about milestones in T20 cricket? So, that was quite in the middle of the conversation,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

“I remember once MS Dhoni played a forward defensive shot because there was Virat Kohli at the other end. He wanted him to finish it off, he didn't want to take the limelight. But Hardik doesn't have to be a Dhoni, even if he considers him an idol,” he added.

Aakash Chopra lauds Tilak Varma on a brilliant start to his international career

Tilak Varma has been sensational, to say the least, in the ongoing T20I series against West Indies. The Hyderabad-born cricketer has hit 139 runs in three matches so far, and with that, he is currently the leading run-scorer of the T20I series. He also became the first Indian cricketer to hit three 30+ scores in his first three appearances for the national team and thus, Chopra is very impressed by the cricketer.

“Tilak Varma, outstanding. First Indian to get 30+ scores in his first three international innings. He scored a fifty in his previous games and was close to another this time too, in fact, it should've been a fifty. His temperament is good, his range is good, he was aggressive at first and then was happy to play second-fiddle to Suryakumar,” Chopra mentioned.

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