Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya

Dinesh Karthik, the veteran Indian wicketkeeper-batter heaped massive praise on the all-rounder Hardik Pandya after the conclusion of the Ranchi face-off, which India lost by 21 runs (1st T20I against New Zealand).

Team India may have begun the New Zealand T20Is on a losing note but the leadership of Hardik Pandya continues to garner praise from the veterans of the game. The team under his leadership will look to bounce back when they face the Black Caps in the 2nd game of the series in Lucknow on Sunday.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya (Credits: Twitter)

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Hardik Pandya Led Gujarat Titans To IPL 2022 Win In Its Debut Season And T20I Team To A 2-1 Series Win Against Sri Lanka

Hardik Pandya has proven himself as a great leader in the past year. Leading Gujarat Titans to their maiden IPL 2022 title in the debut season itself was a statement that India has found a potential captain in the all-rounder.

Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya - Twitter
Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya – Twitter

He then successfully captained the team on overseas assignments when the big guns were either rested or playing Test cricket. Last month, he led a young team to a 2-1 series win against Sri Lanka and now looking to defeat the Kiwis at home. Hardik Pandya has led India in 9 T20Is and India won 6 of them and lost only 2 (1 each against Sri Lanka and New Zealand), while 1 match against New Zealand was tied.

Dinesh Karthik: Hardik Pandya Loves The Big Occasion

After the conclusion of the Ranchi face-off, which India lost by 21 runs, veteran Indian wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik heaped massive praise on the all-rounder, stating that if there is someone after Virat Kohli who is eager to take tough assignments as a challenge then it’s Hardik Pandya.

“I think this (taking on the tough assignments) comes naturally to him. From whatever I’ve seen, he lives for those big games. After Virat (Kohli), if I’ve seen someone who wants those big games, I think it is Hardik Pandya,” Dinesh Karthik said.

“I think you’ll have to put (Jasprit) Bumrah on that list as well but among the batters, I’d say Hardik Pandya loves the big occasion. That’s why you won’t see him too flustered about how he goes about his batting consistency,” Dinesh Karthik said.

Dinesh Karthik. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Dinesh Karthik. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

“When it comes to bowling as well, he is somebody who wants to fill in those holes. If it is the middle overs, he will come up with the slower ones. If it is with the new ball, we saw in the Indore ODI as well that he can bowl really well with the ball,” he added.

Hardik Pandya featured in a 62-run partnership with his deputy Suryakumar Yadav for the fourth wicket in order to rescue the team in the chase of 177.

However, he could only muster 21 off 20 balls before getting dismissed by Michael Bracewell. He also had an underwhelming outing with the ball, returning figures of 33 for none in three overs as the pitch had the least on offer for the fast bowlers.