For years, India were on the lookout for someone who could win them games out of literally nowhere. That long and agonising wait it seems has now come to an end, as in Hardik Pandya, the side has a genuine match winner. With every passing game, Pandya is displaying is zeal, be it with the bat or with the ball in his hand.


Promoted at number 4 at Indore, the move paid off rich dividends as the Baroda all-rounder spoilt Australia’s plans in the middle overs, by thrashing Ashton Agar. His knock of 78 at number 4 was a source of great positivity for the side as apart from just taking the team to a win, he also made sure that responsibility was one aspect which he surely enjoyed.


One person, who has played a significant role in Pandya’s transformation from raw to a finished product, is India A coach Rahul Dravid. It was under Dravid’s coaching in 2016, when Pandya churned out some mighty impressive performances for India A in Australia.


The former Indian skipper is in awe of Pandya.

“A good example about Hardik from my perspective is, he’s willing to play situations and not just the natural game we often speak about. Credit goes completely to him. He’s the one who has actually turned his career around.” Dravid said.”


“If he bats at four, he bats in a particular way. If he bats at six, he bats in a particular way. Tomorrow, he may bat at 80 for 4, like he did in the first ODI with Dhoni. That shows maturity and that’s what you want to see. This concept of ‘play your natural game’, which I hear all the time, frustrates me because there’s no such thing in my belief as ‘natural game.’”


Dravid went on to add that testing Pandya at different situations would bring the best out of him.

“It’s only about how you play different situations. Are you good enough to play when the score is 30 for 3, or 250 for 3? Are you good enough to bat when you go in first over or are you good enough to go in first ball after lunch? You have to learn to bat differently in different conditions, and if you can do that like Hardik is showing at the moment, those would be signs of a developing cricketer, someone who can make consistent contributions and not someone who is a one-off, who can produce brilliance once in a while. The aspiration and challenges set for a lot of India A players is to be all-weather players, all-situation players, all-condition players.”

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