Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya returned to international cricket in some style. He was named in India’s XI for the third ODI against New Zealand in place of Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar. And the wiry player impressed one and all with his exceptional fielding and bowling.
He took a stunning catch to dismiss New Zealand captain Kane Williamson in the 17th over of the Kiwi innings.
On the bowling front, Pandya ended up with figures of 2/45 in his quota of 10 overs. He looked focussed and determined to make his comeback count. The Baroda player had a very disciplined start and gave away just 9 runs in his first five overs and in his last five overs scalped two wickets though he was slightly on the expensive side.
Sunil Gavaskar praised Pandya and said, “Terrific performance, absolutely terrific performance. It’s never easy. The jet lag can get to you. He is a young man, he has had things that have happened and he just wants to forget it. The best way to forget it is being out on the field. And this is what he does best. Being on the field and playing for the country… that’s what you want.”
“He’s bowled a very good line, he has used the bouncers to very good effect. He has been like a live wire on the field,” he added.