West Indies fast bowling legend Michael Holding made the headlines this week after he criticised Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya by saying "he is not a Test all-rounder yet" and "nowhere close to Kapil Dev". However, Pandya hit back at the criticism after taking a match-turning five-fer in the first innings of the 3rd Test against England at the Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Holding also criticised Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah by saying "he is not a new-ball bowler" and he would "not pick Bumrah for the England series," but Bumrah also turned the antics and took a five-wicket-haul in the second innings, leaving Holding red faced.
However, the West Indian legend is not taking his words back on what he said about Bumrah and while asked about Pandya, the former paced said "please go back and listen to, or read what I have said about Pandya once again".
"I would still not have him (Bumrah) as my opening bowler. Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami do a bit more with the brand new ball and they will remain my opening bowlers in Bhuvneshwar Kumar's absence," said Holding to TOI.
But, Holding holds Bumrah at a high level but not at the top level yet, and when asked about how would he have handled Bumrah if he were his skipper, he said "What I have seen is he can get the ball to straighten from wide of the crease and is more effective with the slightly older ball".
The former West Indies pacer also said that Bumrah has not worked hard enough to develop his outswinger since his debut in South Africa in January.
"What you have to remember is that in England, with so much assistance from both pitch and atmosphere for the quick bowlers, Bumrah will get the odd ball to straighten on the right-handers' off-stump, although his action doesn't enhance his ability to do so. The same delivery in South Africa, Australia, etc would not straighten as it can tend to do in England. He has pace, though, which is a welcome asset that cannot be bought," he added.
Holding also said that his words were twisted and were taken out of context and added that Pandya still has a lot to do to be compared to the World Cup winning skipper Kapil Dev.
"Please go back and listen to or read what I have said about Pandya. I was more critical of the people who were telling me he is the next Kapil Dev, not of Pandya himself. I have gone on to say that he is not the man to fill that sort of role as yet, batting at No. 6 and bowling. What I am glad also to see is that I read somewhere that he had said he doesn't want to be known as the new Kapil Dev; he is Hardik Pandya, which is the right attitude," Holding said.
After tormenting the English batting lineup with his 5 for 27 in the first innings at the Trent Bridge, Pandya stated taht he "was'nt Kapil but Hardik" and would like to remain so.
India defeated England by a massive 203 runs after dominating the hosts in every department on the pitch. Indian skipper Virat Kohli was named the Man of the Match for his brilliant knocks of 97 and 103.