After starting the three-match ODI series against England on a pretty positive note, with a huge 10-wicket win over The Three Lions, India faltered in the second match. The batting order suffered a collapse as they were bundled out for just 146 chasing a target of 247. Now, with the series drawn 1-1, Team India needed to win the third match to ensure a win in the series.
In the first innings of the third ODI, England failed to put on a big target on the board, as they were dismissed for 259. The Indian bowlers did put up a good show to restrict them to the target. The wrecker-in-chief was obviously Hardik Pandya, who finished with career-best figures of 4/24.
Aakash Chopra Tweeted Hardik Pandya Is Becoming India’s Most Important Unreplaceable Player In White Ball Cricket After His 4/24
He started off by taking the all-important wicket of Jason Roy who was going all guns blazing on 41 runs from 31 balls. He then went on to take star all-rounder Ben Stokes’ scalp, followed by Liam Livingstone who was looking good during his time on the crease. However, the most crucial wicket that Hardik Pandya took was undoubtedly that of captain Jos Buttler who top scored with 60 runs.
“Hardik is fast becoming India’s most important player in white-ball cricket. A fit Hardik is simply priceless. And yeah you may try to find his replacements but there are none in India ATM,” Chopra tweeted.
Hardik Pandya Follows His 4/24 With An Invaluable 71
Hardik Pandya was recently named the Player of the Series against England as India won the ODI series 2-1 on Sunday. The all-rounder was at his best with both the ball and the bat, as he made 100 runs and picked 6 wickets in the series. His best of 71 and 4/24 came in the third and final ODI itself.
Hardik Pandya, the bowler, feels he has finally got his rhythm back, and going forward, the India star will continue to be ‘smart’ about his job and bowl at a full pace only when ‘required’. Not being able to bowl regularly due to fitness issues had cost the all-rounder his place in the Indian team but he made a roaring comeback with the IPL 2022.
The all-rounder will next be seen in action against West Indies when India plays five T20Is in the Caribbean and the USA. He was not named in the ODI squad for the West Indies tour.