Following his sensational spell of bowling at Trent Bridge in on Sunday which yielded five wickets in just 29 balls, Hardik Pandya has hit back at his critics.
The 24-year-old India all-rounder has come in for criticism in recent weeks with many questioning his role in the side.
Pandya’s maiden five-wicket haul helped India bowled out England for just 161 in their first innings in the third Test with the visitors now well placed to push for a win.
“First of all, I don’t play for them (critics). They are getting paid for saying things which I don’t want to know about and I don’t even care what they say. I play for my country. I don’t care what they say. It’s their job to say it and it’s my job to play for my country. I’m doing the right thing. My team is happy with me. Nothing else matters,” Pandya said.
West Indies great and commentator Michal Holding had earlier said that Pandya was nowhere near the ilk of former India all-rounder Kapil Dev.
“I heard a mention, when I was working in South Africa: ‘he is the next Kapil Dev’. I ain’t going to tell anybody he’s not going to be the next Kapil Dev, but he is nowhere near there yet,” Holding told ESPNCricinfo.
Pandya has insisted that he does not want to be compared to the India legend.
“The problem is this what happens is they compare, fine. But all of a sudden when something goes wrong they say, ‘He is not that’.
“I never wanted to be Kapil Dev. Let me be Hardik Pandya, I’m good at being Hardik Pandya. I’ve come so far — playing 40 ODIs and 10 Tests — being Hardik and not Kapil Dev.
“He was great in his era. Let me be Hardik Pandya. Stop comparing me with anyone. I’ll be happy if you don’t,” the all-rounder said.
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