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Hardik Pandya’s father feels getting the ODI cap from Kapil Dev will be encouraging

Hardik Pandya has impressed MS Dhoni
Hardik Pandya. (Photo Source: BCCI)

24-year-old right-arm medium pacer Hardik Pandya made a dream ODI debut against New Zealand in the 1st ODI at Dharamsala. A new improved Pandya ran through the Black Caps top order after being handed over the new ball by MS Dhoni, finishing with 3/31 to his name. Pandya was impressively fast and accurate and set up a comprehensive Indian victory. It was a kind of debut which every player would ask for if not anything less than that.

In the last one year of so, life has come a full circle for him. After grabbing the limelight playing for the Mumbai Indians in the 2015 IPL , he was fast-tracked to the T20I team earlier this year. He was impressive in his international debut against Australia, did well in the Asia Cup T20 and then World T20.

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But the promising looking all-rounder still needed to develop to find a permanent place in the team. And, as destiny would have it, a fruitful time with India A under the helm of Rahul Dravid followed and he was a changed cricketer overall.

“It was not in his destiny on Sunday. Had he been allowed to bowl few more overs (he bowled seven overs) perhaps he could have been that successful”, Himanshu Pandya, the father, speaking exclusively over his mobile from Baroda, said.

“However, we are satisfied and happy with his three wickets in his debut match”, he added.  Pandya, however, won the Man of the Match award in his debut ODI.

“My son bowled brilliantly and we are proud with his debut performance. He was bowling with proper length and speed, which resulted in an early breakthrough of Martin Guptill wicket”.

The family was elated with the news that the ODI cap was handed over to him by India’s greatest all-rounder, Kapil Dev.

“Getting an ODI cap from a legend like Kapil Dev was a great thing to have happened. I am sure Kapil Dev’s contribution will have some positive impact on my son’s career”, the father added.

Coincidentally, Kapil Dev also made his international (Test) debut on this day (October 16, 1978) against Pakistan (at Faisalabad).

“Hardik has considerably increased his bowling speed by practising hard in the nets. In T20s, he used to bowl at a speed of 130s but has now crossed the 140s. It is indeed a good sign. We are happy with his performance”, the father signed off.

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