"I can’t come close to Kapil Dev"- Hardik Pandya on his comparison with Legendary Kapil Dev
Over the years, the Indian team has also searched for a genuine all-rounder that can contribute in both departments of the game. Kapil Dev was the greatest and probably the best all-rounder Indian cricket has ever produced. Meanwhile, some players have shown the signs of all-round ability, but none of them could carry on for a long time.
However, after the arrival of Hardik Pandya, it looked like India had got another Kapil Dev and the comparison between the two started. But after a great start to his career, injuries and fitness issues kept him out of the game more often than not.
However, he came into the IPL and ended the season with a totally new version. The all-rounder led his team to the title in their maiden season and also performed well with both bat and ball. As a result, he made his comeback into the Indian team and is the vice-captain against South Africa.
In a discussion on SG Podcast, Hardik said that he would like to deny the comparison between him and Kapil, saying that he is not close to the former Indian skipper. He added that whatever, Kapil Dev achieved in his era was commendable and even if he could achieve five percent of that, it would be great.
Hardik added, "I have still not achieved that five per cent. So, for me, it’s people and pundits’ jobs to compare." The all-rounder last played for India in the last T20I World Cup in the UAE. But after that, he suffered an injury and also took a break for rehab.
However, following a successful season in the IPL, he has returned to the team and will take the responsibility in the absence of seniors. The 27-year-old also said that he wants to be himself and can't become Kapil Dev because he was the greatest cricketer of all time.
Hardik concluded, "The kind of impact that he had on the game… from bowling to batting, and fielding, yeah, the comparisons end from my side. It is still up to people but respectfully I will deny that."