'Good player' Hardik Pandya nowhere near league of Kapil Dev and Imran Khan: Abdul Razzaq

'Good player' Hardik Pandya nowhere near league of Kapil Dev and Imran Khan: Abdul Razzaq

Former Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq says Hardik Pandya is nowhere near the league of Kapil Dev and wishes to figure harder to become a world-class cricketer.

Speaking to PTI, Razzaq also clarified that his "baby bowler" comment against lead India pacer Jasprit Bumrah was misconstrued.

One of the foremost prolific all-rounders to possess begin of Pakistan, the 40-year-old also said India will still enjoy an unbeaten record against his team at the planet Cup, as Indians handle the pressure of the large game far better .

Talking about Pandya, who has been battling fitness problems with late, Razzaq feels the 26-year-old doesn't seem to be working hard enough.

"Pandya may be a good player but he are often a way better all-rounder. it's all about diligence . once you don't give enough time to the sport , it drifts faraway from you," Razzaq told PTI.

"He has got to prepare better mentally also as physically. As you've got seen, he has been getting injured tons lately (underwent back surgery last year). once you earn tons of cash , you tend to relax. for each player it's an equivalent . Mohammad Amir didn't exerting enough and his performance dipped."

Pandya, who made his India debut in 2016, has drawn comparisons with the good Kapil, but Razzaq said it's way too premature.

"Kapil Dev and Imran Khan are the simplest all-rounders of all time. Hardik is nowhere near that league. Even i used to be an all-rounder but it doesn't suggest that i might compare myself with Imran bhai.

"Kapil paaji and Imran bhai were during a different league," said Razzaq, who played 46 Tests, 265 ODIs and 32 T20 Internationals.

Razzaq had courted controversy last year by calling Bumrah a "baby bowler" as compared to the fast bowlers of his times. The Indian pacer has gone on to become one among the world's leading bowlers across formats after making his debut in 2016.

"I don't have anything personal against Bumrah. i used to be simply comparing him with the likes of Glenn McGrath, Wasim Akram, Curtly Ambrose, Shoaib Akhtar. it might are much tougher to face them. My comments were misconstrued.

"He is heading towards becoming a world-class bowler. But in our times, the bowlers were of much higher calibre. Not many can dispute that."

The standard of cricket has gone down, consistent with Razzaq.

"You do not feel an equivalent pressure facing the present crop of pacers. Overall, there's a nasty patch in world cricket. We aren't producing world class players the way we wont to 10-15 years ago.

"You had Tendulkar, Zaheer, Sehwag, Ganguly within the same team. they might have walked into any team. could also be an excessive amount of T20 cricket is liable for this decline," he said.

Pakistan were the stronger team within the 90s but India have enjoyed an whip hand over the arch-rivals within the last decade. India have also extended their unbeaten World Cup record against Pakistan to 7-0.

"India will still maintain that record," said Razzaq, who played in three Indo-Pak World Cup games (1999, 2003, 2011).

"It is rare that India and Pakistan play one another in knock-out matches of ICC events. They most play within the league stage and India are favourites. Our players aren't ready to absorb the pressure that comes with this game.

"We wont to win tons against India in Sharjah, beat them in Canada twice. I remember the 1999 World Cup , people and media put pressure on the players before the sport and that we wilted. it's stayed like that unfortunately.

"The pressure builds on the players though it's like all other match. The players not are confident about beating India in World Cup ," he said, adding Pakistan had the simplest chance of beating India within the 2011 edition.