Trending Topic: What will Hardik Pandya go on to become?
He is just 24, he has entered the International cricket with a bang, he is a clean and hard hitter, touches 140 with the ball, hits sixes like as he if is doing some practice and he is hot and handsome too. Yes we are talking about Hardik Pandya, the 24yr old Indian all-rounder who has raised a lot of expectations for India. Pandya personally wants to become what Kallis was for Africa and many cricketing pundits and lakhs of Indian cricket fans believe he can be the next Kapil Dev or an all-rounder which India has been waiting for many many years.
The same hype was created when Irfan had come to the International Stage many years ago. He swinged the ball as good as Akram and was a hard hitter at the lower order too. However, a lot of pressure to perform as an all-rounder and a hunger to bowl at more pace led to his fall in international cricket. Pathan lost his swing while failed with the bat too. The same people who once hailed him as the next Wasim Akram of International cricket shoved him away as a hit and miss star of Indian cricket.
That’s what the whole moral of the story has been, if you are going to suddenly throw all the money, attention, fame and name to a player who has not even completed playing 5 Tests or even 50 ODI’s, it unneccassarily brings a lot of pressure on the player. Either the player may get anxious, nervous or breakdown all of a sudden when he comes to know suddenly his stakes in the market are worth hundreds of crores and the only way for him to survive is to perform everytime he comes to the crease. This unneccassary dose of pressure on Pandya is not fair. Let him play for a few more years without expecting much from him or expecting a lot from him, let’s see what his stats read after 2years and probably then we can compare him with the greats. If comparing Pandya to greats after playing just 3tests and 26 ODI’s is fair enough than Shahid Afridi scored the world’s fastest hudred at the age of 17 twenty years ago against Sri Lanka in his just 2nd ODI, but what happened after that? We all know how Afridi’s batting career ended.
Hence we at Sportsnasha have come up with a list of probable comparisions which Pandya may go on to become before he ends his career or atleast 10 years down the line when he becomes 34.
What he may go on to become at the end of his career, will he develop a cult image with a huge fan following? will he be a slogger, a cheat or a genuine all-rounder? Let’s find out with some probable greats…..
1. Andrew Symonds (AUS)- Will Pandya be the next ODI specialist All-Rounder like Symonds was?
There are high chances that Pandya may become the next Symonds for India. Symonds was a clean hitter in the middle order, bowled medium pace.spin and had a successful ODI and T20 career. However, he played very few tests because his type of batting was not a product of test. Pandya who comes and starts playing hard may also have the same fate as he may have a nice ODI career but a not so great Test Career.
2. Shahid Afridi (PAK)- Sometimes a match winning bowler, sometimes a match winning batsman but not consistent in both the departments, will he become the next Afridi?
Afridi scored a 37ball hundred in the 90’s which became a world record when even run a ball 100 was considered to be fast, he became a rage overnight and Pakistan literally started depending on him on every match. The expectations and hopes were left to be disappointed as he scored only 5 more ODI tons in the next 20years which followed. His centuries, fifties and 5wkt hauls were all match winning, without a doubt but he was a master at none, he was jack of all. His hundreds were once in a blue moon, fifties came once in a while and so was his bowling which was sometimes great and sometimes extremely poor. Afridi played 20 yrs of International Cricket but was the most overstated star of Pakistan, will Pandya go on to become the next Afridi for India? We certainly wish he does becomes like Afridi when it comes to entertainment and passion towards the game but as far as consistency is concerned, we don’t want hardik to be like him.
3. Jacques Kallis (South Africa) A dream all-rounder, will Pandya be the next dream all rounder like Kallis which India has been waiting to have for years?
Pandya’s role model has been Kallis and he has himself admitted he wants to be like the African legend but its not a cakewalk to achieve his records. Over 25,000 International runs, 149fifties, 62hundreds and 678 International wickets requires immense levels of longevity, honesty, passion, fitness and dedication towards the game. Even if he achieves half the records of Kallis, Pandya will be considered amongst the best all-rounders India ever got, its really tough to achieve the kind of success which Kallis has achieved but we certainly wish him all the luck.
4. Chris Cairns- NZ- A decent and dangerous all rounder in both the formats but changed his track to something wrong, will Pandya be the next Cairns?
Chris Cairns went on to become an iconic figure of New Zealand Cricket. He was a clean hitter, a pace bowler just like Pandya and had a great career going on in both tests and ODI’s and suddenly came the news of his match fixing which ended his what could have been a great career. Now with more money than ever being put into cricket, plus the rise of glamour and the domestic leagues, there are high chances that someone may misguide young Pandya too. We certainly hope it doesn’t though!
5. Andrew Flintoff-(ENG), Will he develop a cult image like Freddie Flintoff did back then, will he be known as one of the most charismatic all-rounders but with an average career?
The amount of fan following, love and hysteria which Flintoff had in England is still evident from the fact that many stadiums and cricket games even today are sold with his name. He developed a cult image with his occasional hard hitting and really genuine pace bowling which was a treat to watch when he was at his peak. Even though his stats are just too normal and nothing like Kallis or Cairns, but the fan following which he has around the world is just too commendable! Will Pandya be the next Flintoff for India?
Or will he be the next set of Pathan Brothers?
We all know how many stakes were raised and how many hopes were reignited when Irfan came into the international scene. His swing was actually that great early on that he was compared to Akram while his cameos down the order always proved to be useful, but slowly and slowly he lost form both with the bat and the ball. Even the elder brother Yousuf had the same fate with cricket, he was considered to be one of the cleanest hitters in the world at one point but inconsistency plagued him throughout which led to an abrupt end to his career too. Pandya who has started as good as Afridi and Pathan, will he able to perform like this all the way for the next 10years or will he be in this same category is something which only time will answer.
Till then, all we can do from our side is wish him all the luck of the world to have a very great and a chequered career in Cricket.