One of the biggest positives for Team India during their six-match white-ball International leg was the manner in which Hardik Pandya impinged himself as a finisher.
With him not available to bowl just yet, there were a lot of doubts regarding Hardik Pandya’s place in the Indian white-ball team as a pure batsman.
But Pandya shrugged that off with disdain by smashing a couple of 90s in the One-day International series and a match-winning 22-ball 42* in the second T20I, helping India chase down a stiff total of 195.
Indian head coach Ravi Shastri has lauded his side for managing to win the T20I series in the absence of Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah. Shastri said that the inherent quality of the side is that different players rise up to the occasion and take responsibility, and Hardik Pandya, who, he described as one of the cleanest hitters of a cricket ball in his life, is an epitome of it.
“Winning the T20s without Rohit and Bumrah was a huge achievement. What’s essentially working beautifully for this team is players standing up to these responsibilities. In that, Hardik has been a natural. His game awareness is second to none. He’s one of the cleanest strikers of the ball I’ve seen in the game,” Ravi Shastri was quoted as saying by the Times of India.
Ravi Shastri was also asked as to why India did not play employ the services of Jasprit Bumrah and did not consider Mohammed Shami after the first game.
Shastri responded by saying that both the bowlers had been used enough by their respective franchises in the IPL, and hence it was important to give them a break before the grueling Test match affair.
“That was a total of 64 overs”, Ravi Shastri said in reference to the extent Mumbai Indians used Jasprit Bumrah. “The maximum any Indian bowled, before we arrived here,” he said. Mohammed Shami, on the other hand, had bowled 56 overs for Kings XI Punjab”