At the post-match interview after the final ODI against Australia, a beaming Virat Kohli told the world that he felt Hardik Pandya was the find of the season and justly deserved the Man of the Series award.
It was a huge achievement for the Baroda all-rounder, as in less than two years Hardik Pandya had established himself as an integral part of the Indian setup. Pandya’s swashbuckling stroke play, coupled with his efficient seam ups made him a crucial player for the Indian side.
A tough tour to South Africa though has dented his reputation though. It started fantastically for Pandya in the first test at Cape Town, as he scored a gutsy 93 to save India’s face in the first innings.
Unfortunately for Pandya, that was as good as it got for him with the bat, as all his following scores with the bat could not add up to what he made in the first test match.
While he has certainly improved in leaps and bounds with the ball, Pandya the batsman missed a real opportunity to underline his credentials as an all-round superstar.
The all-rounder’s position in the squad will now come under greater scrutiny, as there are other chomping at the bit to get into the national side. One of them is Shivam Mavi, one of the stars from India’s triumphant U-19 World Cup side.
This is what Mavi said when asked about playing for the senior team sometime in the future.
“IPL will be a good challenge because now people will be expecting more since I bowled well in the U-19 World Cup. But my ultimate target is to play at the top level and represent India” Mavi was quoted as saying by mid-day.
“I know if I perform well on this stage [IPL], it will help me get to the next level. Selectors watch IPL, so I will try my best,” Mavi said.
“I’ve observed that if I prepare well, I am able to perform without any pressure. It worked for our team during the U-19 World Cup too. To reach the next level, a player needs to go through a good learning process than just hard work. Knowing how to bowl to a particular batsman or which ball should be avoided makes a big difference. The quicker you learn, the better the results.” he iterated.