Hardik Pandya, India vs New Zealand 2019
Hardik Pandya was brilliant at Bay Oval. (Credits - Getty)

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.

India vs New Zealand 2019, Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya (Photo credits – MICHAEL BRADLEY/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

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Prashanth Relangi

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