CT 2017: Virat Kohli reveals the reason behind promoting Pandya ahead of Dhoni

Pandya gave the final flourish to the innings with an unbeaten 20 off 6 deliveries.

Virat Kohli Inda ICC Champions Trophy
India’s captain Virat Kohli (C) shakes hands with Pakistan players. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Team India romped the Pakistani unit in their first match of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. It was a thrilling 124 runs win that saw the defending champions totally outplay the opposition. Skipper Virat Kohli was a mighty pleased man with the overall effort of the team. In the post-match press conference, he handled the questions pretty well and looked absolutely thrilled after the superlative win.

In the game, team India got off to a flying start with openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma striking fifties at the top. The century opening stand set the tone for a big score. After the departure of Dhawan on 68, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma joined hands for another decent partnership. Rohit was unlucky to have missed out on a century. But his departure saw Yuvraj Singh arrive at the crease.


Yuvraj started to take the attack on the opposition right from the ball one of the innings. He hit the fifth fastest fifty in the history of Champions Trophy to give the impetus to the Indian innings. When he was dismissed on 53 in the penultimate over, all eyes were on the Indian dugout. With around 10 balls to spare, everyone expected the finisher MS Dhoni to walk in to bat.

Surprise promotion

However, it was surprising to see young all-rounder Hardik Pandya being promoted ahead of MS Dhoni. Many were stunned by the move but the Baroda boy showed some serious skills to justify his promotion. He hit three consecutive sixes in the final over of the match. He gave the final flourish to the innings with an unbeaten 20 off 6 deliveries.

When asked to reveal the reason behind this move, Virat Kohli noted that the dressing room was abuzz considering the promotion. They eventually went ahead with Pandya for the reason that he can hit the ball right from the first delivery.

“It was unbelievable the way he came out. We switched in the end, they asked whether we should send Hardik ahead of MS and everyone agreed because he can just strike the ball from ball one, unbelievable ability so I think those three sixes and a boundary was probably a little bit of difference as well in the end,” revealed Virat Kohli.