Yuvraj Singh’s role in India’s 2011 World Cup win will always be remembered. The all-rounder was in top form throughout the tournament, scoring 362 runs and taking 15 wickets. He was named Player of the Series for his outstanding performances. Twelve years have passed since then, and India is still looking for a player who can fill Yuvraj’s shoes.
Two players who are often mentioned in this context are Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya. Both players are all-rounders who can bat and bowl. Former Pakistan cricketer Waqar Younis believes that Hardik Pandya has the potential to be a match-winner for India.
He said, “Look at what Hardik and Jadeja bring to the table. They are well equipped with both bat and ball. Especially Hardik Pandya – the way he batted against Pakistan – I think he is a really destructive batter at No. 6. Any team would love to have someone like him. He is aggressive, and now as we saw in the previous match, he is very sensible and smart.”
However, former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar is not convinced that Hardik Pandya is ready to be India’s main all-rounder.
He said, “Yuvraj is arguably India’s best white-ball batter. He could win games and was in a different league. Hardik and Jadeja, with due respect, aren’t quite there. These 2 are far better bowlers than Yuvraj Singh but because that one discipline was so discipled…”
Sanjay Manjrekar also questioned Hardik Pandya’s ability to bowl his full quota of overs. He said, “He has the potential but when I see him at this stage, it’s not a guarantee that he will come and bowl all 10 overs like one of the mainstream bowlers. I see him as more of a batting all-rounder and he batted really well in the last game. So yes, they have this combined skill to make the kind of contribution made but one discipline of Yuvraj Singh, like I said, was at a different level.”
It is still too early to say whether Hardik Pandya or Ravindra Jadeja will be able to fill Yuvraj Singh’s shoes. Both players have the potential to be great all-rounders, but they need to consistently perform at a high level in order to cement their place in the Indian team.