Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly urged fans and media not to compare Hardik Pandya with legendary India all-rounder and World Cup winning skipper Kapil Dev. Pandya has been in fine form off late and has been a revelation in all three formats of the game.
Pandya, who received his debut cap from Kapil has impressed one and all and played an important role in India's 4-1 ODI series win against Australia. His stunning show with both bat and the ball earned Pandya the man-of-the-series award.
"Hardik Pandya has the qualities to help this Indian team but don’t compare him with Kapil Dev at the moment. Kapil Dev was an absolute champion. We will talk about it 10-15 years down the line once Pandya keeps playing that long," Ganguly told India Today.
"Let's enjoy his cricket, he is a good cricketer, he is a positive cricketer. He's a fighter and he has got heart when he plays cricket. That's what you look in a young cricketer. I wish him all the best hopefully he continues to do good work for Virat Kohli," Ganguly added.
Ganguly also hailed the selectors decision to include Ashish Nehra in the 15-man squad for the upcoming T20 series against Australia.
"It's a good news for Indian cricket that they have picked ability and not age. He is an exceptional T20 bowler. We saw him in last T20 World Cup. He is a left armer and he creates a different angle. I think he will come out with flying colours in this series as well," said Ganguly.
Ganguly then had special words of praise for skipper Virat Kohli under whom India are currently No.1 in both ODIs and Tests.
"Virat Kohli has got qualities of being one of India's great captains, there's no doubt about it. I think next 15 months will be important for him when India go to South Africa, England, Australia and the World Cup.
I think he is in the right direction. He is preparing his team, he’s picking players and giving opportunities. They will beat New Zealand and Sri Lanka, there’s no doubt about it. India will be challenged when they go to South Africa but I feel this side has got the ability to do well there as well," Dada signed off.