By: Tarish Bhatt
Mahendra Singh Dhoni had batted for a fast bowling allrounder in all formats of the game. He believed that a quick bowling allrounder would give enough opportunity for the team to bat deep and provide a good bowling option.
Throughout his captaincy days, he didn’t get a choice like Hardik Pandya in his playing XI. But Dhoni never complained about it. Towards the end of his captaincy tenure, Pandya did make his debut in shorter formats.
It was again Dhoni who gave him the new ball and trusted him to finish games for India. By the time, Pandya was picked in the Test team last year during the home series, a lot of criticism came from the fraternity.
The answer given that time was that he was inducted into the system to learn the tricks of the trade. Then, no one knew that Pandya would be tested as early as the Sri Lanka series. The critics knew that he would get his chance.
But the team management decided to test him only to boost his confidence ahead of big tours. By the time, Pandya is playing against the other top Test playing nations, he is ready for all kinds of challenges.
As luck would have it, Pandya has already scored a century in the ongoing Test match against Sri Lanka in Kandy and also ready to break partnerships of the opponent teams whenever he is given the ball.
This is indeed good news for the team. The Baroda all-rounder may or may not get another round of Test match expose at home later this year. But he would certainly be ready for the South Africa series at the end of this year.