Before the start of the ongoing first One-Day International against Australia in Chennai, India captain Virat Kohli had made it clear that the team ill back the allrounders and it did not take long for Hardik Pandya to justify his captain’s comments.
“You need depth in batting, you need depth in bowling as well. I think those two all-rounders provide that kind of balance to you. That’s why we have someone like Hardik [Pandya] or Axar [Patel] in the team. Or Jadeja… he is a proper left-arm all-rounder. You need to identify at least two of those guys for your side to have more strength in both the departments. That’s something that all the sides around the world are going to move towards. Because of, you know the strength it gives you in both departments. Along with that, the guy being a top fielder as well,” Kohli had said in the pre-match presser.
“That’s very, very important. You need a proper allrounder and not a bowling and a batting allrounder. That’s something we have focused on. It has paid good dividends in the last series as well and that’s something we will look to continue as it gives us good balance,” he had added.
And Pandya is now living up to the expectations by playing a defining knock which can well turn out to be decisive in the end. The allrounder joined MS Dhoni in the middle when India were reeling at 87 for 5 with Nathan Coulter-Nile and Marcus Stoinis running riot. Pandya initially took his time to settle down and was batting on 35 off 45 before Adam Zampa came to bowl his eighth over.
The leg-spinner had conceded only 28 runs off his first 7 overs but Pandya totally destroyed his figures by slamming him for one four and three sixes on four consecutive deliveries to not only provide the much-needed impetus to the Indian innings but also helped him to score his third ODI fifty. Meanwhile, this is the third time that Pandya had hit three consecutive sixes in ODIs. The previous two instances came against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy.
Here is the clip showing Pandya taking Zampa to the cleaners: