Comebacks are always sweeter, especially, when you are thrown out from the team for few external reasons. Hardik Pandya had made a return to the game after missing out 5 games and displayed his class right in his first game. Firstly, he proved his mettle as a fielder and then bagged a couple of wickets to justify his place ahead of Vijay Shankar.
The flamboyant all-rounder took a stunning catch when Yuzvendra Chahal tossed the ball up to Kane Williamson and the batsman, who was looking to shift gears, flicked it towards the short mid-wicket area. Out of nowhere, Pandya dived full length to his left and completed a screamer. Kiwi skipper had to leave the pitch for 28 (48), with 59-3 on the board.
Hardik Pandya registered 2/45 in 10 overs:
Then, he followed it up beautifully to send Henry Nicholls and Mitchell Santner back to the hut with his bowling. The wickets of the duo had made a major impact on the game, as it certainly thrashed the hopes of Kiwis scoring reaching 300 on the board.
It was an incredible effort by Hardik Pandya, as he delivered the goods despite coming into the game with a lot of hatred behind his back. Apart from all the other things, the amount of grit and determination shown by the youngster deserves great applause.
Earlier, in the day, New Zealand won the toss and opted to bat. Once again, the hosts were kept under check by the Indian seam duo of Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. In the powerplay overs, India conceded just 42 runs while picking up two wickets – for the sixth match in a row.
However, their stalwart Ross Taylor once again stood in the middle to repair the work. He scored a brilliant 93 before edging Mohammad Shami to Dinesh Karthik. It would have been a great century if he would have reached the figure. Nonetheless, it was a solid knock from Taylor.
Here are the tweets:
That was a fielder’s wicket, absolutely stunning catch from Hardik Pandya. #NZvInd
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) January 28, 2019
2-45 from his full quota of 10 overs for Hardik Pandya. And an excellent catch. On the field, he has been sharp.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 28, 2019
— Cricketopia (@CricketopiaCom) January 28, 2019
Hardik Pandya looks more focused. Settled celebration after the stunning catch shows the sign of maturity. We hope he continues this with the bat and ball.
— Broken Cricket (@BrokenCricket) January 28, 2019
— Gautam chauhan (@Gautamchauhan2) January 28, 2019
What a brilliant comeback from @hardikpandya7 👏👏👏👏.
Acrobatic catch from him to dismiss Kiwi Skipper Kane Williamson & then , a brilliant bowling spell (2-45) . #NZvsIND
— Sharat Chandra Bhatt 🇮🇳 (@imsharatbhatt) January 28, 2019
— SACHIN RAUT (@SACHIN_H_RAUT) January 28, 2019
— Dhaval Joshi🇮🇳 (@iamdhaval07) January 28, 2019
And @hardikpandya7 does a decent job — 2 wickets @ 4.5 economy rate and a catch ! Come on champ ! Waiting to see winning runs from your bat !
— samir saraiya (@samir_knit) January 28, 2019
Yes this chap has suffered a lot in last two weeks. Short of redemption today. Sometimes rude shocks help you
— Kishore Lodha (@kishorelodha) January 28, 2019
— Arun Venugopal (@scarletrun) January 28, 2019
— Kohli And Rohit – The Destroyers (@Kohli_RohitBro) January 28, 2019
Brilliant bowling by hardik and shami welcome back @hardikpandya7 we missed you a lot 👌👌👌💖💖💖
— 💲 FirdOs YAsMeEn💖🇮🇳 (@yasmeen9514) January 28, 2019