Hardik Pandya returns to cricket after making a promising performance while playing for Reliance 1 in the DY Patil T20 Cup in Mumbai.
Hardik Pandya has made a promising return after his long absence from cricket, as he was ruled out from playing for India because of his severe back injury, for which the Indian all-rounder even went to the UK to seek treatment.
Pandya appeared for Reliance 1 while his side featured against Bank of Baroda on Friday. Hardik, along with star India players Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are also representing Reliance 1 and are participating in the game.
Batting at number 4, Pandya scored 38 off 25 deliveries, which included one four and four sixes. He came to the crease when Reliance 1 were struggling at 38/2, having lost the crucial wickets of Shikhar Dhawan (14) and Vishnu Solanki (5).
He made a decent partnership with Saurabh Tiwari, which eventually stabilized the innings of Reliance 1, the duo added 53 runs for the third-wicket partnership. Pandya started his innings slowly, scoring only 7 runs off his first 12 deliveries.
But he later picked pace and smacked two sixes off Varun Sood’s over, and went on to smash two more maximums off the same bowler in the 13th over before being caught at long-on.
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With IPL coming around, Pandya will positively get game-time to polish himself for the T20I World Cup in Australia. The Indian team has been struggling in the lower order in his absence and his inclusion in the national team is crucial.
In the absence of Pandya, Shivam Dube had been playing the role of an all-rounder in the side. His performances, however, have been underwhelming.
Team India will return to action in the limited-overs format next month when the side takes on South Africa in three ODIs, and all eyes will be on Hardik Pandya who might make a return to the international setup in the series.