Though Hardik Pandya helped India to a huge total of 319 for 3 against Pakistan in the opening match of the ICC Champions Trophy on Sunday, Virat Kohli admitted that sending him ahead of MS Dhoni was the last minute decision. But the move paid dividends as Pandya smoked 20 runs from 6 balls.
As expected, India thrashed Pakistan in their Champions Trophy encounter at Edgbaston on Sunday, thanks to some incredible batting and clinical bowling. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan set the tone for the day with an impressive 136 runs opening partnership for India. After that Virat Kohli (81*) and Yuvraj Singh (53) took over proceedings for the defending champions.
After the fall of Yuvraj’s wicket in the 47th over of the Indian innings while most fans were expecting MS Dhoni to come out and play the role of a finisher, Kohli surprised everyone by promoting Pandya ahead of the former skipper. But Kohli’s decision was vindicated as Pandya smashed three consecutive sixes in the final over to help India post 319/3.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, the Indian captain acknowledged that Pandya’s promotion ahead of Dhoni was a unanimous decision because of the former’s big-hitting ability from the word go.
“It was unbelievable the way he came out. And we switched in the end. They asked whether we should send Hardik ahead of MS. And everyone
Finally, Kohli acknowledged Pandya’s contribution as the difference-maker, saying, “So I think those three sixes and a boundary was probably a little bit of difference as well in the end”.
Did you know, Yuvraj Singh became the first all-rounder to score 300 plus runs and to take 15 wickets in a single World Cup.
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