Vijayawada, Sep 26 (IANS) Heaping praise on Indias new sensation Hardik Pandya, India A coach Rahul Dravid said the Baroda all-rounder knows how to play in all kinds of situations.
“A good example about Hardik from my perspective is, he’s willing to play situations and not just the natural game we often speak about.
“Credit goes completely to him. He’s the one who has actually turned his career around,” Dravid told espncricinfo on Monday, on the sidelines of India A’s win against New Zealand A here in an unofficial Test.
Dravid was Pandya’s coach last year on an India A tour of Australia.
In the ongoing India-Australia One-day International (ODI) series, Pandya scored two match-winning half-centuries.
In the first ODI, he revived a floundering innings with former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and scored a match-changing 83.
In Indore on Sunday, he was sent up to No.4 after the openers put on a century stand in a chase of 294. Pandya hit big scoring 78 to guide India home by five wickets.
“It’s not about playing just the one way you want to play. If he bats at four, he bats in a particular way. If he bats at six, he bats in a particular way,” Dravid said.
“Tomorrow, he may bat at 80 for 4, like he did in the first ODI with Dhoni. That shows maturity and that’s what you want to see. This concept of ‘play your natural game’, which I hear all the time, frustrates me because there’s no such thing in my belief as ‘natural game’.
“It’s only about how you play different situations. Are you good enough to play when the score is 30 for 3, or 250 for 3? Are you good enough to bat when you go in first over or are you good enough to go in first ball after lunch?
“You have to learn to bat differently in different conditions, and if you can do that like Hardik is showing at the moment, those would be signs of a developing cricketer, someone who can make consistent contributions and not someone who is a one-off, who can produce brilliance once in a while. The aspiration and challenges set for a lot of India A players is to be all-weather players, all-situation players, all-condition players,” Dravid said.
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