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Hardik Pandya can clear any ground: Ravi Shastri

Hardik Pandya has the ability to clear any cricket ground in the world with his power strokes, coach of the Indian cricket team Ravi Shastri has said. In the recently concluded India-Australia ODI series, Pandya showed that he can hit the cricket ball a long way.

Pandya was promoted to number four in the batting order and scored 78 runs in the Indore ODI which India won. He scored 41 runs in Bangalore but India lost the game. The all-rounder’s promotion in batting order is said to be Shastri’s move.

“He (Hardik) is a dangerous guy. He can be a floater in the batting order — tremendous striker of the ball, especially when he hits spinners. I have not seen too many players strike against spinners like that. Yuvraj Singh in his hey days may be. This guy can clear any ground in the world, be it second ball, third ball. It’s the exuberance of youth,” Shastri said.

India beat Australia 4-1 in the series and moved up to number one in the ICC ODI Rankings for team. Shastri said that a team needs to be relentless.

“If you have got to be a good team, you have to be relentless. You have got to repeat what you did on Tuesday on Friday, and then on Sunday, and then on Tuesday again,” said Shastri.

“We saved best batting for the last. It wasn’t an easy track to bat on and the ‘hitman’ (Rohit’s nickname in the Indian dressing room) made it look so easy. It was a treat to the eye. The way the guys showed character once again when Australia were 60 for no loss. We were staring at 275-280 but all the bowlers chipped in and got team right back in the match,” Shastri said after India win in Nagpur.

Praising Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, Shastri said both bowlers have skills and the Nagpur track was suited for them.

“They (Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah) have tremendous, skills. That’s why we brought both of them back in the side. When we saw the track, it demanded skills. It’s a big ground and you might go for runs with new ball.

“But when you have bowlers like them, they can bring you back in the game. They complement each other, they have got varieties galore and their actions are different and vastly experienced.”

Apart from the praise the team for win, Shastri pointed out that there is still room for improvement especially in the fielding department.

“We have to raise the bar in fielding. We need to seize the initiative in an even bigger way in certain situations. One player when he gets into 60’s and 70’s, should convert and that’s what Rohit did,” he said.

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