Playing his first competitive cricket match in more than five months, India all-rounder Hardik Pandya showed why is considered to be one of the best seam-bowling all-rounders in the country with an impressive show in the DY Patil T20 Cup 2020. Hardik Pandya shone with both bat and ball on his return from injury to help his side Reliance 1 register a 25-run win over Bank of Baroda on Friday.
Hardik, who last played for India in a T20I against South Africa in September, has been out of action because of a lower back injury, for which he also had to undergo surgery last year. But on Friday, Hardik showed little sign of rustiness.
Coming to bat at No.4 for his side Reliance 1 in the DY Patil T20 Cup, Hardik smashed 38 off 25 balls to helped Reliance 1 post 150 for 8.
The fact that will please Indian team management and millions of Hardik Pandya’s fans is that he hit four sixes and four fours in his innings, giving a clear indication that he has not lost any of his timing because of the long lay-off.
Hardik was severe against Bank of Baroda bowler Varun Sood. All of Pandya’s sixes came off his bowling as he looked to take the attack to the opposition after a sedate start.
Pandya Once again smashes 2 back to back sixes against Varoon Sood
— Sujoy (@SujoyBarg07) February 28, 2020
Reliance 1 were in a tricky situation, losing opener Shikhar Dhawan (14) and Vishnu Solanki early but Pandya steadied the ship with Saurabh Tiwary, who top-scored with 41, with a 53-run third wicket stand.
Pandya was impressive with the ball in hand too. In his 3.4 overs, Pandya gave away only 26 runs and picked up three wickets to dismantle the Bank of Baroda batting line-up. Apart from Pandya, India’s leg-spinner Rahul Chahar was impressive with the ball. He picked up five wickets as Bank of Baroda were bowled out for 125.
Pandya’s performance comes at a crucial time and it will be interesting to see whether the selectors consider him for the three-match ODI series against South Africa starting on March 12.