Indian All-rounder Hardik Pandya played a swashbuckling cameo inning of 48 in just 27 balls to provide India a boost to put a massive total of 352 on the scoreboard in their second match of World Cup 2019 in London on Sunday.
Hardik was promoted at the no.4 spot and walked in the ground after India lost Shikhar Dhawan’s wicket. He had an 81-run partnership with Virat Kohli and did the majority of scoring even though the Indian skipper was well-set in the middle.
Hardik Pandya brief cameo consisted of three sixes and four boundaries and missed the well-deserved fastest half-century of this World Cup, but assisted India to get past 300 in 46th over. Kohli (82), MS Dhoni (27) and KL Rahul (11 not out) then made sure to make it 350+ which took the game out of Australia's reach.
"Alex Carey would be not so happy with what he did. Hardik was dropped the first ball that cost them big time because he is someone you wouldn't want to give him an extra chance. The first chance that he gives you better catch that ball. With Hardik having that ability to clear the boundary so effortlessly, you want to see his back when he's going full swing you don't want him to spend time in the middle. When we lost that wicket (Shikhar Dhawan) I was just hoping either Dhoni or Hardik should walk in and it rightly happened so." Sachin Tendulkar told to India Today.
Tendulkar who spent a lot of time with Hardik Pandya in Mumbai Indians camp also pointed out the changes he has done in his style of batting and which is why he is so successful with the bat this year compared to his performance in the last couple of years.
"He always had this ability to have a great bat swing. It's a free bat swing and during the impact he's stable. Early on in his career he was trying to hit the ball too hard and would lose shape.
"Now he's maintaining a good shape and that center of gravity is far more stable. He is not slogging, he's playing proper cricket shots and he did so even in IPL 2019." Tendulkar said.
Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan (117) sailed Indian innings along with skipper Virat Kohli (82) to a mammoth total of 352/5 after winning the toss. India restricted Australia on 316 with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah taking 3 wickets each.
(With Inputs from India Today)