Indian batting icon Gavaskar compared Pandya to Shastri, saying that the Gujarat Titans captain could replicate the latter's purple patch from the iconic tournament that took place 37 years ago in Australia.
Former India cricketer Ravi Shastri on Friday reacted to ex-teammate Sunil Gavaskar’s comments on the possibility of Hardik Pandya emulating his exploits in the 1985 World Championship of Cricket.
Indian batting icon Gavaskar compared Pandya to Shastri, saying that the Gujarat Titans captain could replicate the latter’s purple patch from the iconic tournament that took place 37 years ago in Australia, the country that will host the upcoming T20 World Cup.
“I think he (Pandya) could possibly do what Ravi Shastri did in 1985 when Ravi was the outstanding performer with both bat and ball in the entire tournament,” Gavaskar told India Today.
To which fellow cricketer-turned-commentator Shastri replied by saying, “XYZ can say whatever they want everyone is entitled to his opinion. My view is clear, which is what I tweeted a couple of weeks ago.
Shastri had described Pandya as the “best T20 all-rounder in the business” after the latter’s all-round contribution in the Asia Cup group stage match against Pakistan that helped India open their campaign with a five-wicket win.
Shastri stood by his words while speaking to India Today.
“I have already tweeted and posted on Instagram that he (Pandya) is the No. 1 all-rounder in this format of the game,” the former India head coach added.
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) August 29, 2022
Though his form dipped after the stellar all-round show against Pakistan in the Asia Cup, Pandya remains a central figure in India’s plans for the T20 World Cup that begins next month Down Under.
India, who won the inaugural edition in 2007 and finished runners-up seven years later, had announced their squad for the T20 World Cup recently with seamers Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel returning after missing out on the Asia Cup due to fitness issues.
Wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik, who along with captain Rohit Sharma are the only surviving members of the victorious 2007 side in Team India, was also included in the 15-man squad.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
After a humiliating defeat in the T20 World Cup semi-final against England, India must now press the rest button as their road to 2024 edition of the tournament begins with the series in New Zealand.
Kris Srikkanth urged Team India selectors to make Hardik Pandya the captain of T20 team straightaway in order to build the team for T20 World Cup in 2024.
India will be kickstarting its white-ball series against New Zealand with the first T20I set to take place in Wellington on Friday.