Former Indian left-arm seamer RP Singh reckons that Hardik Pandya has come back as a much better bowler following his recovery from injury. Singh has been particularly impressed with the medium pacer’s smart use of the short ball.
The 28-year-old all-rounder was adjudged the ‘Player of the Series’ for his fantastic showing in the three-match ODI series against England. He scored 100 runs at a strike rate of 101.01 and also claimed six wickets at an average of 12.33 and an economy rate of 4.35.
Hardik made great use of the bouncers in the third ODI against England in Manchester on Sunday (July 17), even dismissing Ben Stokes and Liam Livingstone with rising deliveries. Reflecting on the all-rounder’s impressive performance, Singh told Cricbuzz:
“He bent his back and looked in rhythm as well, which is why he was successful. He has come back as an improved bowler after injury. There is better planning in his bowling. Earlier also, he used to run in hard and send down short balls. But now, he thinks hard and knows when to bowl the bouncer.”
Singh added that Hardik claiming wickets with a slightly older ball is a big plus for India. He stated:
“It is great that Hardik is claiming wickets because when you bowl with a slightly older ball, there is less bounce. The probability of picking up wickets is not that high.”
Hardik claimed four wickets for 24 runs in seven overs in the deciding ODI in Manchester. Three of his overs were maidens as India restricted England to 259, bowling first after winning the toss.
“He is claiming crucial wickets” – Pragyan Ojha on Hardik’s success as a pacer
Sharing his views on Hardik’s bowling, former India left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha pointed out that his wickets in the middle overs made a big difference. He explained:
“Hardik Pandya made a big difference because he claimed four wickets with a somewhat older ball.”
Comparing India and England’s bowling performance in the third ODI, he added:
“If we look at England, they got three early wickets, but once the ball got a bit older, none of their bowlers could contribute much. We know how well Pandya can bat, but what is important is that he is bowling and claiming crucial wickets.”
Apart from Stokes and Livingstone, the Indian all-rounder also dismissed Jason Roy and England captain Jos Buttler in Manchester.