England vs India: Under-fire Hardik Pandya finds backing from Moeen Ali
Holding had questioned his role as a genuine Test all-rounder.
Updated - Aug 17, 2018 4:12 pm
Team India has come under immense criticism for their dismal show in the ongoing Test series against England so far. More than any other player, Hardik Pandya’s role as an all-rounder has come under the scanner. He hasn’t justified his place in the team with not much contribution with the bat and not picking enough wickets as well. Even the former Windies cricketer Michael Holding also came down heavily at him. However, Moeen Ali has backed Pandya to come good and has termed him as a good cricketer.
Pandya has so far scored 458 runs in 9 Test matches at an average of 32.71 with only a solitary century and three half-centuries. The stats go worse when it comes to his bowling as he has picked only 10 wickets in 15 innings at a mediocre average of close to 40 and strike-rate of 70. As an all-rounder, he is expected to contribute equally and leave a lasting impact on every game he plays much like the way Sam Curran and Chris Woakes did in the first couple of Tests.
Holding’s stern words
Michael Holding, while speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, had criticised him and felt that his failures with the bat are not allowing him to bowl well. “He is not getting the amount of runs that can then allow him to get a wicket or two in the Test match. That doesn’t work,” he had said while putting a question mark on Hardik Pandya’s all-rounder tag.
England cricketer Nick Compton quoted the same words on his official Twitter handle and took a dig on the youngster by terming him as ‘overrated’. However, Moeen Ali, who is yet to play a Test despite being part of the 13-man squad, backed Pandya. He felt that the analysis from Compton was a bit too harsh and also was of the opinion that he is a good cricketer.
Hardik, on the other hand, has a good opportunity to silence his critics with a stunning performance in the third Test which is set to commence on Saturday at Trent Bridge.
Here’s the thread of the convo: