The Indian cricket team recently registered a sensational series win against Australia by winning the final two games of the series even after losing the first game of the bilateral series. While there were many positives for the Rohit Sharma-led Indian side in the recently-concluded series, however, one of the biggest performers from the series was hands-down Hardik Pandya.
India’s star all-rounder Hardik Pandya has emerged out as one of India’s most trusted finishers with the bat in the shortest format of the game. Whether it is chasing under pressure or batting first freely, Hardik has stepped up for the Indian cricket team on multiple occasions to guide the Indian cricket team home or help them put a formidable total with the bat.
In the first game, Hardik smashed bowlers all over the park to register his career-highest T20I score of 71* off 30 balls. His knock was laced with 7 fours and 5 sixes. In fact, he smashed 3 sixes off the last three balls to take team India to a huge total of 208 runs. In the last T20I match, after the dismissal of SKY and Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya kept his nerves and stood up for the side when it mattered the most. He took India past the finishing line with his sensational knock of 25 runs off 16 balls including a match-winning four.
His finishing abilities have earned him praises from all corners. Former Pakistan captain and all-rounder Shahid Afridi has showered praises on Hardik, saying that Pakistan is missing a finisher like him in their squad. He said:
“This kind of a finisher (like Pandya) we don’t have. We thought Asif Ali, and Khushdil will do the job but they haven’t. Nawaz is also not that consistent, and neither is Shadab. Among these four players, at least two need to be consistent. The period in which Shadab bowls is very crucial. The day he does a good job with the ball, Pakistan wins,”
Afridi also said that Pakistan needs to get over its weak points in order to succeed at the upcoming T20 World Cup 2022, starting next month. He said:
“In the kind of pitches on which we are playing now, you need two genuine fast bowlers and one all-rounder. The new guy Jamal that we have picked, why don’t you play him? Play him as an all-rounder, make him bowl and then ask him to bat. You will get to know what type of cricketer he is. If Pakistan are dreaming to win the World Cup then they need to work a lot on their bowling and batting and minimize the mistakes that they have been committing in the last few matches”
India and Pakistan will lock its horns with each other in their opening game of the T20 World Cup on October 203.