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Rediff.com  » Cricket » 'Batting is Hardik's strength but he is a useful third seamer too'

'Batting is Hardik's strength but he is a useful third seamer too'

February 25, 2016 09:07 IST

India's Hardik Pandya in action

IMAGE: India's Hardik Pandya celebrates taking a wicket. Photograph: Getty Images

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is impressed by Hardik Pandya's cameo in India's convincing win in the Asia Cup T20 opener against Bangladesh and called the young all-rounder an "overall package" who could be promoted in the batting order in the coming days.

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India launched their campaign in style as they thrashed Bangladesh by 45 runs riding on a brilliant 83 by Rohit Sharma.

Pandya's 18-ball 31 and Ashish Nehra's three for 23 played a big role in India's 45-run win at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

"Batting fearlessly is Hardik's strength and that's why we want to give him more matches, he's a good fielder too and a useful third seamer," Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

India's Hardik Pandya in action during his quick-fire innings

IMAGE: India's Hardik Pandya in action during his quick-fire innings against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup. Photograph: Solaris Images

He added, "He is an overall package we can promote him often," as that gives them the option of "playing an extra batsman".

Put into bat on a pacer-friendly wicket, India scored a challenging 166 for six with Rohit scoring his runs under pressure after they were reduced to 42 for three at one stage. Pandya was the other notable contributor.

Dhoni further said: "The way Rohit batted that was needed. It would've been good to win the toss. We wanted to see the kind of start and then set a target.

"It was kind of 55-45 with the toss. Rather than hitting the big shots straight down, it was important to cut and use such shots since they were bowling short of length." 

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