Virat Kohli heaps praises on Hardik Pandya for his impeccable all-rounder performance

Virat Kohli heaps praises on Hardik Pandya for his impeccable all-rounder performance

Hardik scored 83 with the bat and returned with figures of 2/28.

Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli
Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Twitter)

All-rounder Hardik Pandya played a vital role last night to secure a victory for Team India over Australia in the opening game of the series. The 23-year-old registered a swashbuckling 83 off 66 balls and picked up two wickets to help India cruise to victory by 26 runs (D/L). His exemplary all-around performance has awed fans and critics alike, and the Indian skipper was no exception too.

Kohli heaped praises on the Baroda lad in the post-match presentation ceremony and said he was “lucky to have Pandya’ in the squad.” He unleashed himself in the 37th over against Aussies leg-spinner Adam Zampa and clobbered him for three consecutive sixes to collect 24 runs from it.

Pandya did not hold back thereafter and played a clinical role in injecting pace to the Indian innings before getting out in the 41st over. He was equally versatile with the ball, picking the all-important wicket of Australia captain Steve Smith as early as in the fifth over to dent the visitors’ chase of a revised target of 164 in 21 overs in the rain-hit game.

Pandya has grown into a more confident cricketer

Lauding the all-rounder, Kohli said after the match, “Hardik’s innings was fantastic. He believes in himself, and his innings was the game-changer. He possesses all three skills equally and we are lucky to have him.”

“We didn’t have the ideal start. This is a pleasing win because we were in a tough situation. MS and Kedar played well early, Hardik’s innings was fantastic. And MS finished off the way he does,” the Indian skipper added.

Pandya is well known for his big-hitting abilities and is growing into a more confident cricketer as it was evident from the way he notched up his maiden Test century in Sri Lanka last month. He has the ability to step up during pressure moments and capitalize on that. On the other hand, Pandya has displayed a lot of variations with the ball and the 23-year-old knows how to make the best use of his opportunities at the highest level.