Mumbai, February 19: Former Australian opener Matthew Hayden rates his countryman Marcus Stoinis above India's promising all-rounder Hardik Pandya.
Hayden, who turned out for his country in 103 Test matches, also feels that his compatriot and fast bowler Pat Cummins was likely to trouble India opener Shikhar Dhawan in the coming ODI and T20 between the two countries.
However, he praised India leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and predicted that the Haryana bowler will come out on top in his expected middle-overs battle against the hard-hitting Australia batsman Glenn Maxwell. The India-Australia series, comprising two T20s and five One Day Internationals, starts on February 24 with the first T20 to be held in Visakhapatnam.
"Marcus Stoinis is developing into a world-class all-rounder. He is unlucky not to be playing a little bit more Test cricket. He has quality in his play, although Hardik is also a fine player," Hayden said, comparing the two pace-bowling all rounders.
"Stoinis has adopted a wider approach to his game which is winning matches for his country. Hardik Pandya also has the same responsibility, but I think right now Stoinis is a better player," Hayden, who is on the Star Sports' commentary panel, was quoted as saying in a release.
"Pat Cummins will have the hold on Shikhar Dhawan. Dhawan loves pace and I think Pat holds the armoury with short ball, reverse swing and the variation with slow balls. I think Patty will be the baby-sitter," said Hayden about the expected confrontation between the two.
On the expected Chahal vs Maxwell duel, Hayden said, "Maxwell is a player who has struggled when playing in Indian conditions. His IPL performances have not been quite impactful. In the perspective of ODIs and Test matches Maxwell has achieved one excellent 100. But Chahal is developing into a world-class spinner and possesses plenty of variation.
"Maxwell often comes in through the middle stages where he will really need to pump up the pace and Chahal has got variation, so I will get Chahal to babysit," he commented when asked about the rivalry between Maxwell and Chahal and who would "baby-sit" (dominate) whom. The 28-year-old Chahal has picked up 45 wickets from 29 T20s and also has 71 ODI wickets from 40 games.