India all-rounder Hardik Pandya, with his stellar all-round performance, helped India to win their first T20I encounter against England at Southampton on Thursday. Pandya’s knock of 51 runs off just 31 balls helped India set up a huge total of 198 runs in their 20 overs. He then returned with the ball to take 4 crucial wickets of Jason Roy, Dawid Malan, Liam Livingstone and Sam Curran.
In this process, Pandya became the first Indian all-rounder to score a fifty and take 4 wickets in the same match. The 28-year-old has joined the former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh in the rare double club. The southpaw from Punjab had scored 60 runs off just 25 balls at a staggering strike rate of 240 and took 3 crucial wickets of Kumar Sangakkara, Chinthaka Jayasinghe and Chamara Kapugedera in a T20I against Sri Lanka at Mohali in 2009.
Overall, he becomes only the 12th player to score a fifty and a 4-wicket haul in the same match, and the first Indian to do so. Among the Test players, only Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Mohammad Hafeez have achieved this feat.
Only 12 players have managed a fifty and a 4-wicket haul in a men’s T20I match.
Hardik Pandya became the first Indian to do so in this format at Southampton.
Among Test players, only Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Mohd Hafeez and Hardik Pandya have done this!#INDvENG #ENGvsIND
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) July 7, 2022
Pandya was aware of his latest achievement. In the post-match presentation, he mentioned that he knew about this record. “The last time I played a T20 in England, I think I took 4 wickets and scored some 30. So I kind of knew I was the first Indian to score fifty and take 4 wickets. I am enjoying my cricket right now,” said the IPL winning captain.
Often questions are raised on Pandya’s fitness and his non-availability for International matches. The 28-year-old has had many injuries in his short career so far but he believes that he has utilized those times to regain proper fitness before making a comeback. The all-rounder from Baroda, in the post-match presentation, also mentioned the break he took from cricket and how that has helped him to regain his fitness.
“I want success but a lot of time I spend on fitness and my skillsets. For me a lot of time goes into the preparation to get my body ready. Because of the long break that I had, I wanted to get into rhythm. (Bowling quickly) That was a conscious decision when I decided I want some time off from the game. It is about giving your 100% and when you don’t do that, there is no point playing. So I needed that break and now I am happy to be in this place right now,” said the 28-year-old.
India will play two more T20I’s against England followed by three One-day Internationals. The IPL-winning captain would be looking to carry this form throughout this series and into the upcoming T20 World Cup.