Chennai, May 9: Former Australian captain and Mumbai Indians' (MI) head coach Ricky Ponting heaped praise on young batsman Hardik Pandya after his match-winning knock against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) last night in the Indian Premier League 2015 (IPL 8).
Pandya, the 21-year-old right-hand batsman swung the game towards MI in the 19th over with 3 sixes off Pawan Negi. He remained unbeaten on 21 off just 8 balls as MI won by 6 wickets with 4 balls to spare. (Who is Pandya?)
Watching Pandya from the dug-out, coach Ponting was was very impressed with the Baroda batsman. The Australian described Pandya as "fearless" and predicted he would become a "very good cricketer".
"I have actually got quite close to him (Hardik Pandya) since I started in this job. That kid is fearless and has lots of very good skills," Ponting told IPL's official website after Friday night's victory at MA Chidambaram Stadium.
"We haven't seen his bowling much yet but it is particularly good. We saw some of his hitting prowess tonight and even in the game against RCB where he took 16-odd in the last over.
"He is going to be a very good cricketer going forward and is someone I am excited to continue to work with. Just to see the young guys here and their passion and just how fearless they are to take on any situation they are faced with, is amazing. It is a great attitude to have," he added.
This was MI's 5th consecutive victory after a horror start to the tournament. They are in the top-four of the standings now with 12 points.