India captain Virat Kohli on Sunday heaped high praise on all-rounder Hardik Pandya and felt that he has emerged as the 'biggest asset' for the team after their convincing 4-1 win in the five-match series against Australia. Pandya, who scored 222 runs and also picked up six wickets, received the Man of the Series award for his top-class performance in the tournament. "Hardik Pandya is the biggest asset (from the series). Selection dilemma is always a good headache for me as a captain because it's always better to have plenty to pick from and take the best 11 possible," the skipper said.
Not only the skipper but the world is praising India's new sensation and his elder brother Krunal Pandya, who plays for Mumbai Indians, posted a special message on Twitter which reveals the promise Hardik had made to him (Krunal) before the series.
"Just before the #INDvAUS series, @hardikpandya7 told me he will set the stage on fire & today I can proudly say, "you did it... and how!" Krunal wrote on Twitter.
Hardik didn't take too long to reply and expressed gratitude to his brother.
In the first ODI of the series against Australia in Chennai, Pandya not only revived India's innings after being reduced to 87/5, but also took the team to a competitive total of 281/7 in 50 overs. He used the long handle to good effect and smashed the Aussie bowlers all over the park. He finished with 83 off just 66 balls including 5 huge sixes.
The right-handed hard hitter was promoted to No.4 in the third ODI at Indore and he made full use of the opportunity by scoring 78 off just 72 balls and helped India chase down the 294-run target with ease. The 23-year-old was again sent at the same position in the fourth match at Bengaluru and he smashed 41 again in just 40 balls.