Hardik Pandya is way above Ben Stokes: Shane Watson

Now, as Pandya is roaring high in international cricket, the obvious comparison is back between the two top fast-bowling all-rounders of the world at the moment, Ben Stokes vs Hardik Pandya.

Ritesh PathakAuthor

Updated - 03 October 2022 09:02 AM

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India all-rounder Hardik Pandya is counted among the world’s premier cricketers for his ability to turn the fate of a game in his team’s favour. In a country that produced a fast-bowling all-rounder of Kapil Dev’s calibre, life is not easy for such players. You fail once and there is criticism from all corners. Even if you get injured, people start writing you off but as it’s said, the greatest warriors know when to retreat and Pandya has shown it. 

From being down with a back injury during Asia Cup 2018 to winning the Player of the Match award at the same venue, against the same opponent four years later, Pandya proved that ‘comebacks are greater than setbacks’. But it was not an instant result, months of hard work went into it and the results followed. Pandya’s comeback journey started with him leading Gujarat Titans to their maiden IPL title in the very first season. 

Since then, Pandya has been going uphill. He has shown the world that there is another aspect to his cricketing abilities, which is his captaincy. Now, as Pandya is roaring high in international cricket, the obvious comparison is back between the two top fast-bowling all-rounders of the world at the moment, Ben Stokes vs Hardik Pandya. Former Australian great Shane Watson was also asked about the same and he rated the Indian above the English cricketer. 

Watson said that Pandya is way above where the English all-rounder is currently. “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 was quoted as saying by NDTV.

“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, and the way he is bowling. Right now, at this moment, Hardik is the stand-out," he added.

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