'XYZ can say whatever they want…': Ravi Shastri retorts to Sunil Gavaskar's Hardik Pandya statement
On course for a resurgence, Hardik Pandya has been playing international cricket regularly since leading his team Gujarat Titans to the Indian Premier League (IPL) title in the 2022 season. He had a dismal 2021 T20 World Cup but, after returning a changed entity, the all-rounder is raring to go on all fronts. Ahead of the upcoming 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia, Pandya hitting his best form is just what India needs to balance their Playing XI.
Former India skipper Gavaskar went on to say that Pandya has the ability to become a match-winner for India at the upcoming marquee tournament. Gavaskar compared the 28-year-old with former India coach Shastri and expects him to mirror Shastri's exploits from the 1985 World Cricket Championship that saw the former India all-rounder score 182 runs in five matches — including five fifties — as well as grab eight wickets.
"Yes, I think he could possibly do what Ravi Shastri did in 1985 where Ravi was the outstanding performer with both bat and ball in the entire tournament. Some good catches as well. Hardik Pandya is capable of doing that," Gavaskar, who captained India during the series, had said in an earlier exclusive interaction with India Today.
Reacting to Gavaskar's praises for Pandya, Shastri told Sports Today, "I have already tweeted and posted on Instagram that he is the No. 1 all-rounder in this format of the game. What else do you need? I had said it two weeks back. What else is there to add or subtract? XYZ can say whatever they want… everyone is entitled to his opinion. My view is clear, which is what I tweeted a couple of weeks ago."