Hardik Pandya played a blinder of a knock in the first T20I against Australia in Mohali where he played a crucial role in India crossing a 200-plus run target. The Baroda all-rounder came out to bat with the score reading 103/3, by the time he was done, India had already posted a target of 208/7 with Pandya himself remaining unbeaten at 71 off 30 balls where he smashed 7 boundaries and five sixes.
However, just like the main frontline bowlers of the Indian team, he too went for a plenty (22 runs in his 2 overs) and in the end India went onto lose the match with four balls to spare. Now, the Baroda all-rounder isn’t keeping any stone unturned ahead of the second T20I as he gave glimpse of his hitting session on Instagram.
In an intense reel, he was seen smashing the ball with all the gusto with ‘Keep it Goin’ playing in the background. Even his wife Natasa Stankovic also loved it.
Pandya, since his return to IPL 2022, has gone a complete makeover. His captaincy skills and batting skills were perhaps the biggest gainer from the multi-million dollar tournament. Furthermore, Pandya has established himself as the the most important player in the Indian team who would bat in the middle overs, slog in the end while returning to bowl his four overs where he usually would give India the breakthroughs.
Back in Mohali, Australia produced a fine batting show to beat hosts India by four wickets in the first T20I here on Tuesday.
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Invited to bat, Hardik Pandya (71 not out) and KL Rahul (55) scored scintillating half-centuries to help India post 208 for six. In reply, opener Cameron Green put India on the back foot with his 30-ball 61 before Matthew Wade (45 not out off 21) took the visitors over the line with four balls to spare.
With the win, Australia took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Earlier, Rahul (55 off 35 balls) scored his second consecutive fifty which included four boundaries and three maximums. The in-form Pandya pummelled the visiting bowlers into submission with his unbeaten 30-ball 71.
The all-rounder smashed the ball seven times to the fence and five times over it to take India over the 200-run mark.