Not all sloggers make it big at the Test level. This is true on most occasions but Hardik Pandya begs to differ.
If slogging alone would have been the criteria for success in this age of cricket, nearly all the T20 stars like Alex Hales and Glenn Maxwell would become Test heavyweights by now and not just someone “vying” to prove their worth in the red ball format. The ability to sense the difference between “compulsion” and “urge” is what makes a limited overs batsman unique from a Test batsman. T20 cricket calls for the compulsion. It doesn’t allow you to think well and then commence. Generally, it’s hasty. A hook or crook form of showmanship.
Not, denying that the requirement of quality isn’t there; it would be absurd to claim that but discipline remains absent.
Test cricket is all about the urge to transform. Both quality and discipline are a must. While most of the modern day batsmen bring the quality of batsmanship, they eventually end up failing because they don’t recognise the difficulty level of Test cricket.
Pandya surely has learned these requirements very quickly and has made his case clear with his maiden century against Sri Lanka. This promises the fans that he is different and will play for the longer term if early success doesn’t make his ego bloated.
The last true all-rounder who played for India was also the greatest all-rounder our country ever had – Kapil Dev.
And, more recently, if there was someone who showed this amount capability, it was Irfan Pathan at his peak. He batted as a free flowing individual who could be asked to come out at any position while performing his duty of being a strike bowler. But, the left arm fast bowler cum attacking batsman was nowhere close to becoming a fully trust worthy all-rounder. It is a bitter fact, but true.
After Pathan’s decline as a Test cricketer, India has been awaiting the arrival of someone equally talented or if fortunate – a better option.
Stuart Binny filled the void for some time but with very limited success. His stint with the Test team sort of acted more as a content provider for meme makers and mockers than enabling him to accumulate the respect which he gained at the Ranji Level playing for Karnataka.
We can go on writing about Irfan’s potential and Binny’s less appreciated time as the seam bowling all-rounders for India.
But, with the arrival of Pandya, who definitely looks like a more refined all-rounder, India has got someone who has the capability to super cede other Indian seam bowling all-rounders of the past in terms of success.
Bit early to write such claims about a three Test old cricketer but chances of the prediction becoming true can be very strong.
It won’t be stupid to just assume that the right hander’s antics today at Pallekelle which saw him equal Kapil Dev’s record of fastest hundred as a no. 8 batsman is surely his first step towards greater success and achieving his own dream of becoming one of the best all-rounders in the world.