If there ever was a doubt that Hardik Pandya is one of the cleanest hitters of a cricket ball and one of the most prized possession of the Indian set-up in white-ball cricket, then those doubts have been disdainfully shrugged off by the Baroda swashbuckler during the course of the six white-ball internationals in Australia.
Pandya had come to Australia with doubts hovering around his credentials as a specialists batsman in Indian limited-overs sides’, considering the fact that he is unavailable to bowl currently due to injury.
But, right from the first ODI, it looked like Hardik was on a mission to prove all his detractors wrong by smoking two 90-plus scores across three games. Pandya carried that form in the three-match T20I series, smashing a match-winning 22-ball 42 to help India chase down 195. Pandya had come to bat when India still needed 75 runs off the last 6.3 overs. After having initially played second-fiddle to Virat Kohli, the all-rounder teed off in the last few overs and ensured that India scored the desired 25 runs off the last 12 balls.
‘It was a team effort’- Hardik Pandya
Pandya was at it again in the third T20I, in which he played some lusty blows during his 13-ball 20 before he unfortunately top-edged off Adam Zampa.
Nevertheless, Hardik Pandya was adjudged the ‘Player of the Series’, where instead of basking in own glory, he complimented the Indian team for the way they forced their way back after having suffered consecutive defeats in the ODI series. He also said that he is now looking forward to spending some quality time with his child, who he has not seen for over four months.
”I’m very pleased, and wouldn’t mind getting the Man of the Series award, but it was a team effort. After the 2nd ODI we thought we’d think of this a 4-match series and we managed to get three wins, so happy with that. I don’t mind giving interviews because you only have those when you’re on the winning side. I haven’t seen my child for four months, so I’d like to spend some time with family right now,” Hardik Pandya said at the post-match conference.