The Indian team celebrates after the 3rd ODI win.© AFP
Indian cricket team’s 2-1 series win over England presented the team with a lot of positives. Hardik Pandya‘s all-round show and Rishabh Pant‘s batting were the biggest of them all. On Sunday, Pandya partnered Rishabh Pant (125*, 113 balls) to rescue India from a tricky situation against England in the third ODI in Manchester. After India were reduced to 72/4, Pandya scored 71 off 55 balls and shared a 133-run stand with Pant for the fifth wicket. The partnership helped India chase down a 260-run target in 42.1 overs and clinch the series 2-1. He also returned with his best-ever ODI bowling figures of 4/24 earlier to restrict the hosts to 259.
Pandya’s performance has impressed former Indian cricket team player Sanjay Manjrekar.
“Absolutely, Hardik Pandya is a completely changed guy. It was a wildcard that the franchise played. First of all, picking him as one of their first players, before that his fitness was a problem, his batting was an issue for the earlier franchise,” Manjrekar said in a show on Sports 18.
“Not only did they pick him, and back him as one of their marquee players they gave him the captaincy. Just the way the league turned out for him. Hardik Pandya is a changed man now, there’s a lot of maturity, responsibility and ambition as well. I see a sense of ambition coming into him. And once you have that, wanting to grow within Indian Cricket then there’s tremendous motivation. He’s also addressing himself in third person now. Hardik Pandya has arrived.”
Speaking to media post the third ODI, Hardik said to be able to bowl regularly gives him a lot of satisfaction. “So, firstly with my bowling, you know post IPL. After every series I take maybe four or five days to train because that is refuelling for my fitness and just to get fresh. I like to play 100 per cent because then it gives me the opportunity to do all the things which I did today,” said Hardik.
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