IND vs AUS | Twitter hails Pandya's cheeky celebration after three scalps in game-changing spell

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What has kept ODIs relevant for over half a century is the tension in the middle overs and the silent battles between bat and ball, the game waiting to be seized by trailblazers on either side. Hardik Pandya has often emerged as that player for India and delivered again with a scintillating spell.

India gained ascendancy in the early stages of the third and final ODI of Australia's tour of the subcontinent with the Indian Premier League a little over a week away. The hosts came back hard at the visitors after the latter controlled proceedings in the powerplay, snaring three quick wickets to have the Men from Down Under reeling at 85/3 in the 15th over. The recovery was instigated and executed by Hardik Pandya with the Men in Blue vice-skipper sending a batter back to the pavilion in each of his first three overs.

The 29-year-old first came to bowl immediately after the powerplay, with the score reading 61/0. Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh, having scripted a chase of 118 in just 11 overs in the second ODI, again managed to set a solid foundation with some flamboyant shotmaking. However, the former immediately faced a scare after failing to time a pull off a surprising bouncer on the second delivery only for Shubman Gill to drop the catch in the deep. Even so, the opener could not make of the reprieve, playing a loose shot on a short and wide delivery just three balls later to be caught by deep third-man Kuldeep Yadav thus departing for 33 off 31 balls.

In Pandya's next over, he started off the battle against Smith with a cheeky slower delivery. The very next ball was pitched up and angling away from the batter but this time at pace, deceiving Smith into a falsely timed drive thereby leading to a thick outside edge straight to the wicket-keeper, ending his four-ball stay for no runs. However, the right-arm pacer was not done yet and reaped another reward on the third ball for his next over. The in-form Mitchell Marsh looked set for a half-century but had to depart for a run-a-ball 47 after playing on Pandya's delivery onto the middle stump. 

Pandya could not help but cheekily stare at the batter as he walked away, well aware of the wicket's importance which Twitterati were also quick to point out.

That cheeky smile on his face tho! :P

Man with mission!

Some serious attack from Kung fu Pandya!🥵

Absolutely no doubt in it!

Hahaha! Very good future.😌

No comments on it!

Not every band belongs to Dinda!

He's on fire!

Hot summer getting more hotter!😈

HP matlab Hardik Pandya!

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