'Hardik Pandya is not in Top 10 in any format' - Irfan Pathan compares the all-rounder with Ben Stokes

‘Hardik Pandya is not in Top 10 in any format’ – Irfan Pathan compares the all-rounder with Ben Stokes

Irfan had tweeted how India will become unbeatable if they had an all-rounder like Stokes.

Hardik Pandya - Irfan Pathan
Hardik Pandya – Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

The recently-concluded Test series between England and West Indies was all about Ben Stokes. The English all-rounder, in the second Test at Manchester, flaunted his class in both the departments to steer his side to the victory. The New Zealand-born phenomenon slammed 176 and 78 in the two innings and picked up three wickets in the second Test to level the series 1-1 after losing the series-opener as a captain.

Stokes’ impressive display also led to him becoming the No.1 all-rounder in Test cricket, overtaking West Indies skipper Jason Holder in the list. Post Stokes’ magnificent performance against the Caribbean side, many members of the cricket fraternity had heaped praise on him, labelling him the best all-rounder of the modern era.

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, impressed by Stokes’ heroics, had also lauded his efficiency in both the departments. Irfan had tweeted how India will become unbeatable if they had an all-rounder like Stokes. Many fans responded to the tweet by saying that India already has a brilliant all-rounder– Hardik Pandya– in their arsenal.

However, Irfan responded by saying that Hardik still has a long way to go before he matches Stokes’ match-winning abilities. Irfan also pointed out the fact that Hardik still hasn’t paved is way in Top-10 rankings in any format of the sport.

“Ben Stokes has become No. 1 all-rounder in the world by winning matches for England. I wish for Team India to have an all-rounder who wins games for India. Yuvraj Singh was a kind of guy who was a match-winner. Having an all-rounder in the team is a different thing and I am talking about purely in Test cricket,” Pathan told Cricket.com in a video interaction.

India need a match-winning all-rounder: Irfan Pathan

“Unfortunately, Hardik Pandya is not in top 10 in any format of the game for India. He has the potential, there is no doubt about it. If he has that calibre of an all-rounder who can win matches for India, Indian cricket team will be invincible. The Indian cricket team is way better than the rest in the world,” he added.

Stokes has so far played 66 Tests, 95 ODIs and 26 T20Is, amassing 4419, 2682 and 305 runs in the three formats respectively. He has also picked up 156, 70 and 14 wickets in the three formats respectively. Pandya, on the other hand, has played 11 Tests, 54 ODIs and 40 T20Is, scoring 532, 957 and 310 respectively.

Irfan also praised India’s Test squad which is equipped with many starlets like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. However, according to Irfan, India still needs a match-winning all-rounder, which is still a missing piece to complete the puzzle.

“We have guys like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. We have such immensely talented cricketers like Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma.

We have Ashwin, two wrist spinners and Ravindra Jadeja for that matter but if we have that one piece which can put everyone together- that’s an all-rounder. We have tried Vijay Shankar and some new would also come in future. I am simply saying India need a match-winning all-rounder,” said Pathan.