In his short international career so far, Hardik Pandya has made a name for himself for his ability to send any bowler to hiding through his disdainful batting. Today, he again brought that to the fore as he hit 24 runs off an Adam Zampa over that included a hat-trick of sixes and a boundary.
There is nothing in the Hardik Pandya’s statistics that make him seem like a world-beating bowler or a reliable batsman, who could notch up a half-century most of the time he comes to the bat. But the talent that he appears to possess, the options he could give the team management as an all-rounder are the things that make him Virat Kohli’s go-to man in the Indian team. Today, after a huge top-order collapse that saw India being reduced to 87/5 in 22 overs, Pandya became the knight in shining armour who helped bail his side out of the woods.
In the company of former Indian skipper MS Dhoni, Pandya continued to take singles and occasional doubles, and not let the Australians dominate them completely. After taking India to a respectable total, the Baroda batsman decided to break the shackles in the 37th over of the innings. He initiated the carnage by hitting Adam Zampa’s second ball of the over in between mid-off and mid-on for a four.
Pandya decided to channel the beast in him as he hit the next delivery straight over the long-off before smacking another one over long-on to bring his third ODI fifty. The penultimate ball of the over also suffered the same fate as Zampa’s quick delivery on the middle was smacked over long-on. He took a single off the last ball to present India its best over of the innings.
The all-rounder also managed to hit two more sixes before getting out for 83 – his highest score in ODI cricket – that helped India reach a formidable position in the match.
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