India vs Sri Lanka: Hardik Pandya can do for us what Ben Stokes does for England, says Virat Kohli

Galle: India captain Virat Kohli feels that all-rounder Hardik Pandya has all the skill sets required to emulate world's premier all-rounder Ben Stokes.

"I have a lot of faith in him (Hardik) as far as any format is concerned. If he grows in confidence — you see someone like Ben Stokes, what he does for England, brings in great balance as an all-rounder. I see no reason why Hardik Pandya can't become that for India," Kohli said at the post-match press conference.

 India vs Sri Lanka: Hardik Pandya can do for us what Ben Stokes does for England, says Virat Kohli

Hardik Pandya celebrates scoring his maiden half century in the first Test between India and Sri Lanka in Galle. AP

Kohli singled out Pandya for special mention, praising his second innings bowling apart from his debut half-century.

"In the first innings, he didn't get opportunity to bowl much but I think in the second innings, he bowled really nicely on a wicket that wasn't offering much and he kept it in the right areas," said Kohli.

The skipper was impressed as to how Pandya used the shirt ball and also the speed at which he bowled.

"He used the bouncer well. He bowls around 135, so he is a great asset and I have mentioned this before as well," he said.

His whirlwind 50 in the first innings was the difference between a total of 550 and 600.

"We would have been 540-550 in the first innings. He got those 50 runs quickly and that saves you time as well. That gives you another 15 overs to bowl at the opposition. And his fielding is also tremendous.

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Updated Date: Jul 29, 2017 22:08:09 IST