Hardik Pandya made a significant return to cricket in the third ODI at the Bay Oval against New Zealand. Meanwhile, the India National Cricket Team captain, Virat Kohli seemed delighted to have the all-rounder back in the ranks. In earlier games, Kohli had mentioned that Pandya’s absence had forced the management to alter with the line-up. However, Pandya got included in the XI for the 3rd game and left an immediate impact. On the field, he took two wickets and grabbed a brilliant catch to dismiss Kane Williamson.
He (Pandya) makes an important contribution – Virat
Of late, Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul have faced a lot of flak for their conduct on Koffee with Karan. Though they later tendered an apology for their remarks, the CoA and the BCCI suspended the duo. However, during the ongoing series against the Kiwis, the top bosses lifted the suspensions; resulting in Pandya receiving a call-up to the Indian team straightaway.
Though India was already 2-0 up in the five-match series, Hardik’s presence created more impact on the opposition. Virat Kohli, post the third ODI spoke on the recent turn of events relating Pandya, and said, the Baroda all-rounder is focused towards his game only. The Indian skipper further added because of Hardik Pandya there is balance in the team.
“Good to have him back. He put his head down and focused on what he needed to do, you can tell from the way he bowled. He is someone who will make important contribution over all. He is someone who provides a lot of balance to the team.”
India seals ODI series in NZ
For the first time in ten years, an Indian team has won an ODI series in New Zealand. It was a decade back when MS Dhoni had led the Men in Blue to taste victory on the NZ soil. Now, Virat has inspired his team to create history. However, the BCCI had decided to rest the captain for the remaining games on tour. Thus, in his absence, Rohit Sharma will lead the team.