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Irfan Pathan applauds India star’s performance against New Zealand in ‘playing tennis on cricket ground’

Irfan Pathan, a former all-rounder for the Indian cricket team, has nothing but admiration for Hardik Pandya following his pivotal cameo during the third ODI match between India and New Zealand in Indore. Pandya hit three boundaries and three sixes in his innings as he hammered 54 off only 38 deliveries to lead the hosts to a massive total of 385/9. Pathan emphasised Pandya’s versatility as a threat for Team India and even praised his demeanour and strategy during the quick fire knock.

‘He is a very important player. To achieve balance, you need a player that can both bowl and bat. Finding someone with the skill that Hardik Pandya gives the Indian squad is really challenging. There aren’t many cricketers like him in the entire globe. He first displayed his strength when batting. He was playing tennis on a cricket field with the strokes he made and the straight pulls he made. It was a remarkable stroke, and in the subsequent shots he also displayed his power and range,’ said Pathan, who spoke to Star Sports.

‘Pandya was effective with the bat as well; in the opening over of the game, he castled Kiwi opener Finn Allen. The all-rounder has improved to the point where the old ball doesn’t bother him anymore,’ Pathan added.

‘It is really difficult to stop him if he is in form. The strike was timely and swift because Hardik Pandya had less trouble scoring against the old ball than the other hitters, who were having trouble doing so’ Pathan threw in.


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