Hardik Pandya. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Team India’s captain Virat Kohli recently praise all-rounder Hardik Panyda and conceded that he has it in him to play the role of a perfect all-rounder, much like what Ben Stokes does for England. But out of favour Indian batsman and the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, Gautam Gambhir said that Pandya needs to work a lot on his batting technique to be considered among the very best all-rounders of the modern generation.

“Look, he’s got to improve a lot, especially when it comes to his batting. You can’t just play one way. At the moment, he can do that because you have your top three and four scoring runs for you. So, you have the platform to go out there and play the way you want to. But ultimately, you have to tighten your technique because the moment you lose two-three wickets early, with him batting at No. 6 or 7, he has to have a little bit of solidity.

“At the moment, according to me, he’s not there yet. He needs to work a lot on his technical side. Maybe he can be an attacking option, but at the same time, you need to have a solid technique for that as well. Right now, you can’t compare his two or three innings because he has got the platform to play the way he wants to play,” Gambhir was quoted as saying by DNA.

Kohli had heaped praise on Pandya earlier and compared him to England all-rounder Ben Stokes.

“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,” Kohli told while addressing a press conference after the opening Test in Galle.

Kohli praised Pandya for his bowling in the 2nd innings especially on a surface which had hardly anything on offer for the bowlers.

“In the first innings, he didn’t get an opportunity to bowl much but I think in the second innings, he bowled really nicely on a wicket that wasn’t offering much and he kept it in the right areas,” said Kohli.

The Indian captain has also been impressed by Pandya’s short ball tactics and the speed at which he bowls.

“He used the bouncer well. He bowls around 135, so he is a great asset and I have mentioned this before as well,” he said.

Pandya scored a quick-fire century in the 1st innings of his debut Test and his innings was the difference between 540-500 and 600.

“We would have been 540-550 in the first innings. He got those 50 runs quickly and that saves you time as well. That gives you another 15 overs to bowl at the opposition. And his fielding is also tremendous,” Kohli had said.

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