Hardik Pandya Better Yuvraj Singh; Becomes First Indian to Achieve Incredible Feat


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.

ALSO READ: “There is No Point Playing, When…” Hardik Pandya’s Big Statement After India’s 50-Run Win in 1st T20I

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.

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