We dug out numbers for the great Vinoo Mankad, Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri, Manoj Prabhakar and Ravichandran Ashwin - owing to their allround abilities - from their first 10 Tests, and here’s how Hardik Pandya fairs in comparison
We dug out numbers for the great Vinoo Mankad, Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri, Manoj Prabhakar and Ravichandran Ashwin – owing to their allround abilities – from their first 10 Tests, and here’s how Hardik Pandya fairs in comparison

What’s your verdict on Hardik Pandya? After his performance at Trent Bridge in the third Test against England where he picked career-best 5 for 28 and then made a handy run-a-ball 52, a lot of you would have become a Pandya believer for sure.

After former West Indian pacer and now commentator Michael Holding’s view on Pandya – the allrounder, were construed in every way imaginable, the allrounder got his share of naysayers and at the other end, his fair share of supporters.

While Pandya himself came forward and said that comparisons with unarguably India’s best allrounder Kapil Dev should end, here in India, such comparisons will continue and Pandya, unfortunately, cannot do anything about it.

But, does Pandya’s impact as an allrounder merit such a comparison? Very hard to say, but what about the numbers. Pandya has now played 10 Tests for India and it might be an opportune time to take stock of where does the 24-year-old stack up against India’s other notable allrounders from past and present. We dug out numbers for the great Vinoo Mankad, Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri, Manoj Prabhakar and Ravichandran Ashwin – owing to their allround abilities – from their first 10 Tests, and here’s how Pandya fairs in comparison:

Player

Runs

HS

Batting Avg

100s

Wickets

BBI

Bowling Avg

5 WIs

Hardik Pandya

528

108

35.20

1

16

5/28

27.68

1

Vinoo Mankad

489

116

25.73

2

28

5/101

46.42

1

Kapil Dev

510

126*

42.50

1

29

5/146

42.50

1

Ravi Shastri

215

93

21.50

0

27

5/125

21.50

1

Manoj Prabhakar

522

95

43.50

0

24

6/132

52.41

2

Ravichandran Ashwin

455

103

37.91

1

55

6/31

30.23

5

As one can clearly see from the table above, it is hard to really pinpoint the strong aspect of Pandya, which here is a good thing. While in terms of runs scored, Pandya leads the tally, in terms of wickets he is far behind. But remember, he has not had much of a bowl in the ongoing England series.

Pandya’s batting average is much better than Mankad and his current India coach Shastri, but in comparison to Kapil and Ashwin, Pandya the batsman needs much more consistency.

In the bowling department there is no competition as Ashwin is leading the tally by a long margin. However, the off-spinner is still considered as a specialist bowler, but his numbers in batting might force many to put him in the allrounder’s bracket.

However, the interesting thing here is the average and surprisingly, Pandya’s average of 27.68 is only bettered by Shastri, who also started off as a specialist bowler, then became a lower-order hitter, to a grafter in the middle-order en route becoming a top-order batsman.

There is still a long way to go for Pandya in his international career, but these numbers do show that the flak Pandya received before the Trent Bridge Test was unwarranted and going forward he may might as well justify the comparison with the great Kapil Dev.

But, Kapil is considered an Indian great not because he was a terrific all rounder, but because he gave India much much more – which may never be quantifiable in terms of numbers.