Former India speedster Zaheer Khan has said that India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has understood and analyzed what the team wants from him. Hardik was in great form with the bat in the recently concluded T20I series against South Africa. He scored 117 runs which came at a strike rate of 153.95 as well. However, Zaheer Khan has said that Hardik was his player to watch out for from the recent series and the experienced all-rounder did well on his return to the Indian team after a stunning show in the IPL 2022.
“I did touch upon this beginning of the series where my player to watch out from South Africa series was Hardik. Purely because once the IPL is over, he was coming off the high as well of winning the trophy, he was in a different role, he was in the leadership role,” Zaheer Khan told Cricbuzz.
“So all those things were going to matter and the next milestone for him, ambition, motivation is going to come from the World Cup. He himself has been very vocal about World Cup being one of the things on his agenda. His focus is going to be getting ready for that big one. From that point of view, the start has been phenomenal, this was important for the Indian team as well that he plans things around this,” Zaheer Khan further added.
He has also said that the communication from the head coach Rahul Dravid has been helpful for Pandya, and he has analyzed what is needed from him as well. Hardik has led Gujarat Titans to their maiden IPL title that too on their debut season this year. And, then he was named the captain of the Indian team for the Ireland tour.
“Rahul Dravid was also clear about keeping a very open channel of communication with him we’ve seen it in Sri Lanka series as well and the T20 World Cup followed after IPL 2021, around that time there was a lot of concern. He has understood and analyzed what is gonna require from him, he understood the team’s needs, which is a big positive. We hope from the Indian team’s point of view he stays on his path and really charts his course towards that big one in Australia,” he again said.
“There is no doubt about his leadership qualities but leading your country is the highest honour for any cricketer so you just got to cherish the moment and enjoy that, rather than thinking about what’s coming next and all. Leading your country is something special and I’m sure that’s how will also be looking at it. Not overcomplicating it and thinking about how can I will be here for long term,” Zaheer Khan concluded.