"In T20 Cricket, Hardik Pandya Way Above Ben Stokes": Shane Watson To NDTV
Former Australia star Shane Watson said Hardik Pandya is "at the peak of his powers" right now and is a better all-rounder in T20s than Ben Stokes.
Former Australia star Shane Watson is regarded as one of the best all-rounders to ever play the game and in a career spanning, 207 international games, Watson took 291 wickets and he also scored 10,950 runs. The 41-year-old is currently in India to play the Legends League Cricket tournament, and on the sidelines of the ongoing event, Watson spoke to NDTV about the meteoric rise of another star all-rounder, India's Hardik Pandya, in T20 cricket, who recently also showed his captaincy credentials in the IPL.
"Hardik is absolutely at the peak of his powers at this moment. It is an absolute treat to watch him play. I love watching fast-bowling all-rounders who steam in and have a real crack. You know, the impact they can have and they can take the game away from the opposition at any time of the game, whether it is with the bat and ball," Watson told NDTV.
Hardik often draws comparisons with England's Ben Stokes, another fast-bowling all-rounders, but Watson feels that in T20 cricket at least, the Indian star is the better player.
"It is really pleasing to see Hardik playing like he is doing right now. And in regards to T20 cricket, Hardik is way above where Ben Stokes is right now. With the way Hardik is batting, his versatility while batting at the end, the way he is bowling. Right now, at this moment, Hardik is the stand-out," he stated.
After some injury issues, which prevented Hardik from bowling, he came back strong and captained Gujarat Titans to their maiden IPL trophy in their debut season earlier this year.
Since then, he has gone on to put in several match-winning performances for India, both with bat and ball.
He even got the chance to captain the Indian side for their T20Is against Ireland.