India’s major quest for the congenial all-rounder might see an end after Hardik Pandya’s entry into the Test team. The major question, that saw no answers for more than a decade, was the find of an all-rounder. Modern cricket has evolved a lot over the years with the introduction of the shortest format. 300 plus scores in the ODIs are considered mediocre. The modern era is more about a batsman dominated game. The batting line up gets extended to number seven(the role that an all-rounders plays) in most of the teams composition. Even the longest format has witnessed the importance of some batting abilities down the order. England’s tour of India saw centuries from Jayant Yadav(at number 9) and a century stand between Liam Dawson and Adil Rashid for the eighth wicket after Moeen Ali’s valiant century. The modern cricket has demanded the inclusion of all-rounders that serve in both the ways.
England’s Ben Stokes is the player that every team wants. Stokes proved his importance after being the most expensive player in the 2017 IPL auctions and his performances in the league that led his team to the finals. Stokes has been impressive not only with the bat but has contributed with the ball as well. Stokes has been one of the major reasons for England’s success over the past 18 months. India’s quest for all-rounder thirst for the all-rounders might be quenched with the inclusion of Hardik Pandya. Irfan Pathan looked promising to fill the spot in the early stages of his career but then his performances withered.All-rounders like Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja and Stuart Binny had brief stints but failed to impress as Pandya did. Jadeja has been impressive with the ball but is yet to shine with his wooden sword.
Pandya has provided the team a double package of someone who can bowl a full quota of 10 overs(if needed) in ODIs and score some quick important runs. Pandya proved to be nation’s hero after the last ball victory against the neighbours Bangladesh in T20 world cup 2016. Pandya’s heroics drew attention from all over the world after his blistering knock of 76 off just 43 deliveries against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy Final 2017. Pandya came into bat at number seven when India were struggling at 54/5 chasing a mountain target of 339. Pandya looked strong during his valiant half century and gave the Indian fans the faint hope of pulling off a dramatic victory in finals. His innings terminated with an unfortunate run-out. India never inch towards victory then in the finals, but saw the rise of India’s most reliable all-rounder “Hardik Pandya”.
Pandya’s impressive run in the limited overs cricket fetched him a place in the longest version. Pandya marked his entrance in the white uniform with a half century on debut. His 50 off 49 deliveries at number 8 led India to the 600 run mark after centuries from Shikhar Dhavan and Cheteshwar Pujara. Indian skipper Virat Kohli has shown some serious trust over his new weapon. Expressing his view, Kohli said,”I have a lot of faith in him (Hardik) as far as any format is concerned. If he grows in confidence – you see someone like Ben Stokes, what he does for England, brings in great balance as an all-rounder. I see no reason why Hardik Pandya can’t become that for India”.