Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. Credit: Getty Images

Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya made a starring return from injury, helping Reliance 1 – to a 25-run victory, courtesy of his 38-run knock, and three wickets. Five months ago, Pandya injured his lower back and he had to undergo a surgical procedure for the same in London.

Since then, the 26-year-old has been recuperating at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. Pandya played his first match after the surgery and he played an impressive game contributing on both fronts.

Outgoing BCCI chief selector Prasad was delighted to see the Indian all-rounder make a return to the 22-yards.

Prasad was in attendance to watch Pandya return to action, alongside fellow teammates Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shikhar Dhawan, both of whom returned from their respective injuries as well.

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MSK Prasad delighted on Hardik Pandya’s return from injury:

MSK Prasad, Hardik Pandya, India, DY Patil T20 Cup, Reliance 1
MSK Prasad. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Speaking after the DY Patil T20 Cup match between Reliance 1 and Bank of Baroda, the outgoing chief selector expressed his delight upon the return of three of India’s marquee players.

“All three looked in good shape and it was good to see Hardik steaming in,” Prasad said. 

Pandya, in particular, was in the scheme of things as he smacked 38 runs off 25 balls including four sixes and four boundaries, helping Reliance 1, to a total of 150 at the loss of eight wickets.

Pandya’s double performance helps Reliance 1 defeat Bank of Baroda in DY Patil T20 Cup:

MSK Prasad, Hardik Pandya, India, DY Patil T20 Cup, Reliance 1
Hardik Pandya (Source: Twitter)

His side was in a tricky situation after having lost openers Dhawan (14) and Vishnu Solanki early, but as he has done so often for India, Pandya helped steady the ship along with fellow batsman Saurabh Tiwary. Together they put up a 53 run stand for the third wicket.

Moreover, the 27-year-old all-rounder took three wickets in his 3.4 overs, giving away just 26 runs. Pandya and Rahul Chahar combined to rip-apart the Bank of Baroda batting line, as they folded for just 125 runs.

Chahar picked up five wickets as Reliance 1 won the game comfortably.

Indian fans will be happy to see Pandya returning at just the right time, as India look to host South Africa for a three-match ODI series starting from March 12.

However, it remains to be seen if the selectors will include him in the ODI squad just yet.