Shane Warne has expressed admiration for Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya and called him as one of the top three cricketers in the world at present. India’s limited-overs fixtures against Australia came to an end as India lost ODI series 2-1 and won the T20I series by the same margin.
One of the star performers for Virat Kohli-led Indian side was Hardik Pandya who shed the reputation of the all-rounder and performed as a specialist batsman amassing 210 runs in 3 ODIs and 78 runs in 3 T20Is. Though Hardik Pandya failed to make the cut for the Test team, legendary Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne feels he should have been in the team for tests too as he is ‘one of the top 3 players in the world’.
Shane Warne: Hardik Pandya Is One Of My Top 3 Players
Hardik Pandya further built his reputation as a pure batsman, showcasing his skills while batting down the order. His finishing abilities and big-hitting abilities left a huge impact and impressed Shane Warne.
“I will to have Hardik Pandya in the Test side. It’s bit of a surprise. I love him. I have said weeks ago that he is one of my top three players on the planet. I love him. He is awesome and he certainly did what he did in the T20Is and one-dayers. Now everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and saying ‘how good is Hardik Panda’,” Warne said in an interview with Sports Tak.
The fact that Hardik Pandya isn’t bowling at the moment has devoid him of a place in the Test team against Australia. According to skipper Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya can be considered in the Indian team for the longest format if he plays as an all-rounder like past.
Hardik Pandya doesn’t have any such plans at the moment bowling full time although he bowled 4 overs in 2nd ODI picking 1 wicket conceding 24 runs. Hardik Pandya is not bowling nowadays to rest aggravating his back pain after having surgery in 2019.
“I would love to see him the Test team, he is in such great form. With the loss of Virat Kohli, he bring a lot of things on the table — batting and may be few overs of bowling. I think he helps the Indian team walk a bit taller. He is a bit of a rockstar. He has got that swagger, he is ‘Mr cool’, when he speaks you think he is from the West Indies.”
Hardik Pandya had once said that he finds himself in terms with the people from the Caribbean a lot. Shane Warne feels just the same for the Indian cricketer.
Shane Warne Hopes Hardik Pandya Will Be Back In Test Squad When He Resumes Bowling Full Time
Andre Russell and Kieron Pollard are some of the current West Indies team who are allrounders and big hitters of the ball like the Indian counterpart Hardik Pandya.
“You think he has just come off a beach in Antigua. He is cool. I want him to bat at 6 or at 7 after Rishabh Pant at 6. Hopefully, he will be back in the Test squad when he is back bowling full time. India have got so much of depth that it’s going to be a good side,” Shane Warne said ahead of first India versus Australia Test from December 17.
Hardik Pandya has returned home after an outstanding performance in the limited-overs leg in Australian tour and has resumed his duties as a father. He will next be seen in action performing for India in the limited-overs series against England which starts in February next year.