Pandya will do great things for Indian cricket: Pollard

Hardik Pandya

Mumbai, ┬áKieron Pollard on Wednesday heaped praise on his Mumbai Indians (MI) teammate Hardik Pandya, saying the fellow all-rounder has the potential to do ‘great things’ for India.

“He is a small guy but hits (the ball) a long way. If he continues to practice well and evolve as a cricketer, you can see him doing great things, not just for Mumbai Indians, but also for India,” Pollard said about Pandya on the eve of MI’s Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).

Pandya, who has so far amassed 355 runs in 12 IPL games this season, scored a blistering 91 off 34 balls against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens in MI’s last game on Sunday.

“He’s not practising differently. It is all about believing in his ability. Obviously the situations he has been in, he had no choice but to go and hit and he has shown his powergame as well, so it’s good for him. Even when he came onto the scene, if you remember, he finished off a couple of games for Mumbai (Indians) with his big hits.

“It is matter of him having the confidence because he is one of those guys who is free-spirited and will just go out and try to use his youthful exuberance to make an impact on the game,” Pollard explained.

“I am sure that even if there is something technical that he has worked on, he wouldn’t want to put that out in the media. If he is working on his game, he does it in private. He wants you guys to see the results of his hard work,” he added.

Pollard also said that David Warner’s absence will help MI when they take on SRH in a bid to secure a spot in the playoffs.

“It’s an advantage, obviously. David (Warner) is a world-class player. He has shown what he can do. He was an integral part of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s campaign. So, as an opponent, we feel good that he is not there. But having said that, I am sure they have a lot of world-class talent in their armoury to back it up.

“There is (Martin) Guptill who has done fantastically well in the international level. Yes, they have lost Warner, but we are not going to take them lightly,” Pollard said.

“We all know it’s a pressure game, that’s the nature of the IPL. So as players you don’t want to put additional pressure on yourselves going into the last couple of games. You just want to be calm and collected,” Pollard said about how his team will approach the game in which a victory would pilot them into the playoffs.