The third ODI between New Zealand and India marked the return of Hardik Pandya to the set-up. He replaced Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar and made an instant impact on return. Pandya bowled in good areas with the ball in hand and created pressure on the batsmen with his tight line and lengths. His first five overs just yielded nine runs.

Pandya ended up with figures of 2/45 in his quota of 10 overs. He claimed wickets of Henry Nicholls and Mitchell Santner. Not only bowling, but Pandya also took a blinder to get rid of New Zealand captain Kane Williamson in the 17th over of New Zealand’s innings.

Kohli praised Pandya and said, “Hardik provides balance to the team. Today too he bowled good areas which showed he has worked on his skills. If you don’t respect the game, the game won’t respect you. I hope and believe that Hardik will come out as a better cricketer.”

“Good to have him back. He put his head down and focused on what he needed to do, you can tell from the way he bowled. He is someone who will make an important contribution overall. He is someone who provides a lot of balance to the team,” he added.

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