India all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who recently had a son with wife Natasa Stankovic, received praise from former India spinner Piyush Chawla. Pandya is known as a hard-hitting batsman and his role in the team is to hit big shots towards the end of the innings. Pandya is also a talented bowler, and is also used as India’s 3rd pacer. He is one of India’s preferred options as an all-rounder in the team.
The right-arm seamer missed out a lot of months of cricket last year after he suffered a back injury which required him to get a surgery. Pandya spent a few months in the rehab after his surgery, but he was fit to be a part of the Indian team that was set to play the three-match ODI series against South Africa in March. But the series was postponed due to outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking in the latest episode of Star Sports’ Cricket Connected chat show, Chawla said that Pandya has become a better batsman than he was four years ago. “If you talk about the changes, then the Hardik Pandya that was there 4 years ago and the way he is batting in the last 2 years, there is a huge difference,” Chawla said.
“As a bowler you need to prepare very well because you know that the margin of error is very small now, compared to what it was 4 years ago. If the ball is slightly off-target, whether too full or short, then he doesn’t spare you,” he added.
Meanwhile, former India pacer Ashish Nehra said that having a baby will turn Pandya into an even more responsible cricketer. “If you talk about Hardik Pandya, he got more responsible after marriage. After fatherhood, he will get one more responsibility. Because my experience was that the life does not change much after marriage, but once kids enter your life, the life changes a lot,” Nehra said on the show.
“Although in my case, when you talk about sleepless night, I used to sleep peacefully but my wife did not sleep. Because I had gone for the T20 World Cup in West Indies. So, I have seen them quite less. My wife only has made them grow. But once you have kids, you feel a different sort of responsibility and I don’t think Hardik Pandya will be any different,” he added.