After MS Dhoni, India hopes for a finisher in Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya: As India chased down a more than decent total of 194 in a T20 match against Australia, men blue may have found themselves a new finisher.
The Cricket fans in the country have now relied their hopes on the all-rounder Hardik Pandya because of his recent heroics in the sport. When Pandya stepped on the ground, India needed 37 runs in the last three overs.
The Indian team was under pressure after a settled Virat Kohli left after misjudgement of a delivery and the explosive batsman steeped in the ground. He along with Shreyas Iyer guided the team to victory, but was caught the attention of most cricket experts and fans is the ability of the 27-year-old player to hit in almost every match.
The hopes were further increased when the Australian coach Justin Langer the all rounder’s match winning as an ‘incredible spectacle’ and established a connection between the former captain and arguably one of the best finishers Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Fans quickly jumped in the credit league noting the uncanny resemblance in the roles of the two Indian players. Experts used to categorise Dhoni as a mood driven player who hardly had any problem playing against one single player as he tackled bowlers as and when the team required, a capability Pandya seemed to exhibit during the second T20 match against Aussies.
The stand-in captain Matthew Wade chose an in-form Zampa for the third last over as the bowler was reliable in the previous three overs. Wade targeted Iyer, thinking a spin attack would work against him but Pandya came into picture smashing the 111 meter boundary, something that even shocked the captain.
The series that India won by 2-0 further attested the position of Pandya in the team. The team was earlier found to be struggling with an all rounder and a seamer in the team, both of which can be fulfilled by Pandya. The 50-over series loss of the Indian team was blamed on the unavailability of a decent seamer in the team as Pandya could not bowl due to his lower back injury.
Kohli also attested to the talent of Hardik Pandya after his post match presentation, “The reason was Hardik coming into the team in 2016 was pure ability. He has raw talent. And now he realises that this is his time, the next 4-5 years, to be that finisher, that bankable player that can win you games from anywhere.”