India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has made a stellar comeback to the Indian side after a long break due to an injury lay-off. Post a phenomenal season in IPL 2022, where he won the trophy as a captain of new franchise Gujarat Titans, Hardik was recalled to the Indian side in the T20Is where he scored 331 runs in 15 innings at a strike rate of 142.06 with a fifty, picked 12 wickets at an economy rate of 8.57 and also led India to a series win in Ireland. However, former England all-rounder Tim Bresnan still feels that Hardik is far from being a “top player” in world cricket.

Not just in bilateral series, Hardik had an impact in the Asia Cup tournament as well where he scored 50 runs in three innings and picked four wickets. In fact, his all-round brilliance in India’s opener led to their five-wicket win against Pakistan in Dubai last month.

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“Definitely, a pace bowling all-rounder is quite crucial, it balances your team, it gives you two cricketers in one,” the 37-year-old Bresnan, who is representing LNJ Bhilwara Kings in the second edition of Legends League Cricket told PTI in an interaction.

Hardik’s long battle with his back injury had reduced his role down to a mere batter in white-ball cricket while putting an end to his red-ball career. But he has made a remarkable comeback to the Indian side as he now heads to the T20 World Cup as one of the team’s key match-winners.

Hardik has however been rested for the impending South Africa series at home in a bid to be mindful of his workload management. And Bresnan opined that it’s because of the demanding nature of his position.

“It’s a tough position to play because you are always involved in the game, so it’s quite demanding physically. Fast bowling all-rounders are worth the weight in gold. Hardik is really good on the field as well, he’s a very good athlete. He’s got to mature a bit more, then he is going to be a top, top player,” Bresnan, who called it quits after playing for 20 years, added.

Bresnan also made his opinion on the upcoming T20 World Cup and gave his predictions for the same.

“You can’t discount India ever… But I think England, Australia and New Zealand probably are the three favourites. But India and Pakistan have the same chance and Sri Lanka have done really well in the Asia Cup, so you never know, whoever brings on the day.”

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