Hardik Pandya tried to imitate the batting style of an underrated Indian opener

Pandya also expressed his captaincy aspirations.

Hardik Pandya
India batsman Hardik Pandya. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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Hardik Pandya might have not produced a memorable performance but has been doing fine on the tour of England. He has looked responsible with the bat – in conditions and against an attack where most of his team-mates have fallen flat on the face, he has applied himself to handle the adversity. Pandya who is as flamboyant as it gets and loves to express himself with his game talked about the players he looks up to.

He hails from Baroda, Gujarat and growing up didn’t watch a lot of cricket, born in 1993 he doesn’t have a lot of memories from the 90s which is termed as a golden era of Indian cricket. Against the common perception Pandya as an all-rounder doesn’t idolize Kapil Dev, who is hands down the best from the country. He also named a former Indian batsman he took batting inspiration from and tried to imitate on the field.

He loved the way Wasim Jaffer batted, the youngster was so impressed that he even tried to copy the Mumbaikar’s batting style. Being a seam-bowling all-rounder he looked upto the great South African Jacques Kallis. Not just his batting and bowling but Pandya thinks there is a lot to learn from his fielding as well.

“I love Wasim Jaffer, I used to copy his batting style. In international cricket, I’d say, Jacques Kallis, the way he batted, the way he bowled, the way he fielded,” Pandya said naming his cricketing idols in an interview with ESPNcricinfo.

He rose to prominence with his performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 where he was a part of the Mumbai Indians. His favourite T20 league apart from the IPL is Australia’s Big Bash League. “I like Big Bash, its entertaining and the quality of cricket is very good,” he mentioned.

Though very young in his international career at the moment Pandya would certainly love to be leading the Men in Blue someday even if it is for one match. “Depends on how my career goes. I’ll be really happy to lead India once, if I get the opportunity. We have great captains right now and I’m pretty glad to play with them,” the right-hander who captained India A in a tour match against Australia in February 2017 said.

On the tour of England

The 24-year-old all-rounder has always been criticized on social media for his inconsistency and for not being able to create an impact. Former cricketers have questioned his abilities as an all-rounder but Pandya has stuck to the task and is trying to do the best with his bits and pieces on the field.

However, he has the second most runs for India after two Tests, behind skipper Virat Kohli and he picked up three wickets in England’s first innings at Lord’s; the only time they bowled.

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