Former Pakistani versatile player Abdul Razzaq says Hardik Pandya is not near the Kapil Dev league and needs to work harder to become a world-class cricket player.
“Pandya is a good player but he can be a much better versatile player. It’s all about hard work. When you don’t give enough time for the match, it will stay away from you,” Razzaq told PTI.
“He has to prepare mentally and physically better. As you have seen, he has been injured a lot lately (underwent back surgery last year). When you get a lot of money, you tend to be relaxed. For every player it’s the same. Mohammad Amir did not work hard enough and his performance declined. “
Pandya, who made his debut in India in 2016, has drawn comparisons with the great Kapil, but Razzaq said it was too early.
“Kapil Dev and Imran Khan are the best of all time. Hardik is not near the league at all. Even I am a versatile person, but that does not mean that I will compare myself to Imran bhai.
“Kapil paaji and Imran bhai are in different leagues,” said Razzaq, who plays 46 Tests, 265 ODI, and 32 T20 International.
Razzaq has caused controversy last year by calling Bumrah “baby bowler” compared to the fast bowler of his day. Pacer India has become one of the world’s leading bowlers in various formats after making its debut in 2016.
“I have no personal problems with Bumrah. I only compare it with people like Glenn McGrath, Wasim Akram, Curtly Ambrose, Shoaib Akhtar. It will be much more difficult to deal with them. My comments are misinterpreted.
“He is heading to become a world-class bowler. But in our day, the caliber bowler is much higher. Not many can argue with that.”
Cricket standards have dropped, according to Razzaq. “You don’t feel the same pressure facing the pacer harvest at the moment. Overall, there are bad patches in world cricket. We don’t produce world-class players like we did 10-15 years ago.
“You have Tendulkar, Zaheer, Sehwag, Ganguly in the same team. They will be in any team. Maybe too many T20 cricketers are responsible for this reduction,” he said.
Pakistan is a stronger team in the 90s, but India is superior to its main rivals in the last decade. India also extended their unbeaten record at the World Cup against Pakistan to 7-0.
“India will continue to maintain that record,” said Razzaq, who played in three Indo-Pak World Cup matches (1999, 2003, 2011).
“It’s very rare that India and Pakistan play each other in knock-out matches from ICC events. They mostly play on the league stage and India is a favorite. Our players cannot absorb the pressure that comes with this game.
“We used to win against India in Sharjah, defeating them in Canada twice. I remember the 1999 World Cup, people and the media put pressure on the players before the match and we wilted. Unfortunately it remained that way.
“Pressure builds on the players even though it is like any other match. The players are not confident of beating India in the World Cup,” he said, adding Pakistan had the best chance of beating India in the 2011 edition.