India all-rounder, Hardik Pandya has returned to the fore in some style. Though he had faced his quota of flak for his loose comments on Koffee with Karan, Pandya didn’t wait for long before unleashing himself. During the fifth and final ODI in Wellington, Hardik did what he does the best; hit three sixes to a spinner. It was in 47th over, when the right-handed batsman hit the off-spinner, Todd Astle for a hat-trick of sixes. However, it is the fourth occasion in his ODI career when Hardik has hit a bowler for three back-to-back sixes.
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Also, former South Africa captain, Ab de Villiers is the only player apart from him to have achieved the feat in ODI cricket in past two decades.
Another hat-trick of sixes by Hardik Pandya today. Fourth time he has hit 3 sixes off 3 balls in ODIs. The only other batsman to do it 4 times in the last two decades is AB de Villiers. #NZvInd
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) February 3, 2019
Meanwhile, here are all four occasions when Hardik had hit a bowler for a hat-trick of sixes in an over.
Against Todd Astle in Wellington
In the fifth ODI against New Zealand in Wellington, Hardik spread his magic immediately after coming to the crease. Earlier, India had suffered an early setback with Matt Henry removing the top-order within 18 runs. Later, 90 from Ambati Rayudu and 45 from Vijay Shankar helped India regain some momentum.
Meanwhile, at the fag end of their innings, it was Pandya, who played a quick-fire knock of 45 off 22 balls. He hit five shots over the boundary in total, but his hat-trick of sixes against Todd Astle stole the show.
Against Adam Zampa in Chennai
It was in 2017 when Hardik Pandya hit three massive shots to Australia spinner, Adam Zampa in Chennai. It was the first ODI of the five-match series and India after batting first failed to provide a good start. Courtesy MS Dhoni‘s 79, and 83 from Hardik, the hosts scored 281 for seven.
However, it was in the 37th over when the India all-rounder opened his arms and went for heaves to Zampa. Though he didn’t middle each of them, the power generated was enough for the ball to travel past the boundary line.
Against Shadab Khan in London (CT Final, 2017)
Let’s face the elephant in the room; it was because of Pandya’s explosive hitting in the finals of the Champions Trophy 2017 against Pakistan, he hogged all the limelight. Though India had lost the match to their arch-rivals by 180 runs, Hardik’s 43-ball 76 enlightened the mood of the Indian fans at the Oval.
Meanwhile, asking to chase 339 in the finale, India got reduced to 72 for six at one stage. When it looked all but the end of the road for the Indians, Hardik showed up. During his 76-run knock, he hit six sixes; off which three came against leg-spinner, Shadab Khan.
Against Imad Wasim at the Oval
For the first time when he achieved the feat, it was during the group stage against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy 2017. India had scored 296 for three by the time Imad Wasim was asked to bowl the final over. Standing at the other end, Hardik Pandya whacked the spinner for three massive sixes; thus helping the scorecard to crawl past 300.
Meanwhile, looking at the 2019 World Cup, Hardik Pandya coming to form is a good sign for India.