Hindustan Times, New Delhi

File photo of former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh(AP)



All-rounder Hardik Pandya once again hogged the limelight for his guiding India to victory in the 2nd T20I against Australia on Sunday. His quick-fire 42 not out in just 22 balls provided the finishing touch to India’s 195-run chase, handing the tourists an unassailable 2-0 lead in the T20I rubber.

Impressed by Pandya’s heroics in Sydney, former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh has stated that Pandya has now turned into a proper finisher for Team India. The veteran spinner opined that the young Indian all-rounder is better than Caribbean cricketer Andre Russell.

“Confidence is building every day. He [Pandya] is someone who is a proper finisher for Team India. He is as good as Russell, maybe better than, I would say. He is hitting sixes at will,” Harbhajan was quoted by India Today as saying.

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“He [Pandya] always had the talent. We knew he could hit big sixes. But now he has been playing consistently, he has got the idea of staying there and finishing the game,” he added.

Harbhajan was pleased to see Pandya playing the finisher’s role. The former off spinner lauded Pandya’s ability with the bat and termed him a ‘mature batsman’.

“At the same time, he has got the technique as well. He is someone who can take singles as well. He is not someone who just likes to hit sixes. He is a very, very mature batsman, he has got a good technique. It’s good to see him taking up the responsibility and finishing off the game like he did today,” Harbhajan said.

“He is a very attacking player but very sensible. He knows which bowler to choose to go after. It’s good to see him showing that maturity. His batting is as good as any batsman. If he can bowl a couple of overs, it will be the icing on the cake,” Harbhajan added further.

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Pandya was adjudged as the man of the match for his fine innings that carved a way for India’s series win in Australia. Now, the men-in-blue will eye to whitewash the host when they lock horns with the Aussies in the third and the final T20I in Sydney on Tuesday.

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