Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar poured in praises on Hardik Pandya's return to the cricket and said the all-rounder added balance to the Indian ODI team.
Gavaskar said the 25-year-old impressed everyone with his performance during the third ODI against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui on Monday.
Pandya, who made a remarkable comeback to the team since September, took two crucial wickets of Henry Nicolls and Mitchell Santner. He had last played for India in an Asia Cup match against Pakistan and missed the rest of the matches following an acute back injury.
Pandya and batsman KL Rahul were suspended following the controversy surrounding the sexist comments on the TV show ‘Koffee with Karan’.
Talking to Star Sports, Gavaskar said the team management wanted Pandya on the side and he “filled a little blank” that was there.
He covered all the bases for the team, allowing the team to be balanced, added Gavaskar.
Following the criticism of his loose talk on women, Pandya had immediately apologized to his fans and teammates. He also replied to a BCCI show cause notice. After the suspensions were lifted, he was called up for the ODI match in January, while Rahul stayed back to play for India A against England.