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People have fallen in love with Hardik Pandya’s comeback story, says former MI player


Hardik Pandya’s drastic improvement as an all-rounder since his comeback has seen him being compared to England star Ben Stokes, who is considered as a top all-rounder by many.

Hardik Pandya gestures after guiding India to a five-wicket victory over Pakistan in their opening game of the 2022 Asia Cup on Sunday, 28 August. AP

Ever since he returned to competitive cricket after a long injury lay-off, Hardik Pandya has been a different beast with both bat and ball. The all-rounder has made substantial contributions with both bat and ball, and is looking in fine touch as India prepare for the T20 World Cup in Australia.

Former New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson, who has seen Hardik Pandya from close quarters in the Mumbai Indians camp, feels people have fallen in love with “Pandya’s comeback story”.

In an exclusive conversation with Firstpost.com, Anderson, on current form, picked Pandya over Ben Stokes as the best all-rounder at the moment.

“It’s a tough one! They are very similar players. Looking at the current form, I’ll probably pick Hardik Pandya. I think people have fallen in love with Pandya’s comeback story and the Indian all-rounder has kind of thrived on it. His confidence at the moment is sky-high and a guy like him can be very dangerous with that kind of confidence,” he said.

Anderson lavished praise on Stokes as well and said that he might prefer him over Pandya in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

“Ben Stokes is obviously a gun player himself, so it’s a very difficult question. At the moment, I’ll probably go with Hardik Pandya but during the upcoming T20 World Cup, I might prefer Stokes,” the former New Zealand cricketer added.

Pandya is undergoing a purple patch at the moment and has already scored 436 runs in 19 games, at a staggering strike rate of over 150. Prior to his T20I outings, he was mighty impressive for Gujarat Titans as he led them from the front during their title triumph in their debut season.

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