Kumble backs Pandya to continue good form
Hardik Pandya stretches during a training session at the Ferozshah Kotla stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday on the eve of the second ODI between India and New Zealand.
With Hardik Pandya picking up the man of the match award in his One-Day International (ODI) debut during the first match against New Zealand, India coach Anil Kumble is confident that the all-rounder will bring in much needed balance to the team.
Pandya returned figures of 3/31 in the first match of the five-ODI series in Dharamsala last Sunday as India restricted New Zealand to a total of 190 runs.
Kumble asserted that such an encouraging performance on his ODI debut will give Pandya the confidence to perform well in the second match of the series as well.
"He is someone who obviously gives us the right balance because he can bowl. He can not only bowl, he bowls at a pretty decent pace as well. It was nice that he really bowled well in the first game with the new ball. That was something that Dhoni wants him to try and it was heartening that he got the man of the match in his first game.
"So it was something that I am sure will give him a lot of confidence. All-rounders who can run in and bowl quick and bat are certainly an asset. He is someone who will be closely monitored and we will see how he progresses. He certainly has the potential. He has shown his potential in the limited opportunities that he has got," Kumble told reporters here on Wednesday.
"As someone who has just started his international career we do not want to put pressure on him by giving him specific plans as to what is expected of him. He is someone who likes the freedom. That is what we have given to someone like Hardik.
"We tell him to bowl freely and not worry about getting hit. We don't tell him to bowl in one particular spot. Even with his batting, he has the freedom to go and bat freely whatever be the match situation," the India coach added.