The India-Pakistan encounter brought to the fore the discrepancies in the Pakistan cricketing setup. The Pakistan cricket side greeted us with poor fielding, clueless bowling and incomprehensible decision making. A rivalry so intense, a match so hyped up resulted in a drab, one sided affair, thanks to the Pakistan side that just didn’t turn up!
The Indian batting line up eased themselves into the game, laying up a platform in the initial overs and going for the full monty in the final few. Yuvraj Singh’s little cameo gave that little impetus to the innings, and Hardik Pandya came out and tonked those 3 sixes in the final over to completely gift India the momentum going into the 2nd innings.
While a lot of us would have expected MS Dhoni to come in when Yuvraj Singh departed, Hardik Pandya made a surprise appearance, walking in with an air of confidence about him, an aura that suggested that he owned the place.
He smoked three sixes of his first 3 balls to help India power through that 300 barrier. His power hitting skills down the order have been on display during the IPL as well, and it was a real gutsy move by the Indian contingent to send him in ahead of the ‘finisher’ Dhoni.
In the press conference after the game, Virat revealed the reason for sending Hardik ahead of Dhoni, citing the fact that Hardik can start hitting the ball right from the word go!
“It was unbelievable the way he came out. We switched in the end, they asked whether we should send Hardik ahead of MS and everyone agreed because he can just strike the ball from ball one, unbelievable ability so I think those three sixes and a boundary was probably a little bit of difference as well in the end,” revealed Virat Kohli.”
Hopefully Hardik can repeat his antics in the games to come as well.