Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya has proved that he is not all talk and no action in the ongoing tour to Australia.
Returning from an exceptional season of IPL, Pandya was deservedly awarded Man of the Series in the T20I series against Australia which India won 2-1 after losing the final contest to the hosts at SCG by 12 runs on Tuesday.
Pandya produced a scintillating, match-winning 42 off 22 during the second T20I where the visitors were given a target of 195. The all-rounder, who looked calm and collected through the innings, waited for the right deliveries to come his way and smashed two sixes to take India home after the hosts still needed 14 in the last over from Australian pace bowler Daniel Sams. His knock helped India capture assailable series win.
After the conclusion of the series, Pandya was honoured with the trophy for his contribution to India's series win over Australia.
However, to everyone's surprise, Pandya showing the maturity that his game has seen in the past few months, handed his trophy over to the newcomer bowling sensation T Natarajan. Left-arm seamer Natarajan emerged as lead wicket-taker on India’s bowling chart, picking up crucial wickets while keeping the run-flow in check. This was the yorker specialist’s maiden series victory in Indian colours.
Seeing Pandya give away his trophy to the talented bowler brought a cheer among cricket fans who took to Twitter to laud the cricketer for his maturity and humbleness.
Hardik Pandya Gave His Man Of The Series Trophy to Natarajan and Took A Photo with Him 😍WHAT. A. GESTURE ❤#AUSvIND #Nattu #KingKohli #ViratKohli #T20Is pic.twitter.com/hr7F2Gewil— Times of Sports (@timesofsports) December 8, 2020
Hardik Pandya - The most down to earth human being. He handed his Man Of The Series award to T Natarajan because he felt he deserved that award. pic.twitter.com/T9DZ6zjhNc— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) December 8, 2020
Hardik pandya hand over the man of the series award to #Natarajan 👏👌Monster on field, kind off field @hardikpandya7 you beauty😍 pic.twitter.com/SVben6nCZP— Hari Asylum ☸️ (@hariazylum) December 8, 2020
@hardikpandya7 gets the man of the series award but it was @Natarajan_91 who was a stand out in this series and a great find for Indian cricketWinning the T20 series will be a great boost for the team in the Test series#AUSvIND #Natarajan #hardikpandiya pic.twitter.com/gIqMaoT3pw— PREETHIK SHETTY (@ShettyPreethik) December 8, 2020
HARDIK PANDYA handover the man of the series award to NATARAJAN....VIRAT KHOLI handover the winning trophy to NATARAJAN....Such a deserving one...#IndiavsAustralia | #AUSvsIND | @Natarajan_91 | #Nattu pic.twitter.com/Oymfir7xzu— Abigail (@abi_007_gail) December 8, 2020
Another bilateral win for Team India & Virat Kohli. Hardik Pandya & T Natarajan out shined & Nice gesture by HP tho Natarajan deserves the Man Of The Series. 👍Congrats Team India 💙#AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/PDIHikXlEZ— P A Ls ♡ (@CricketGirl_45) December 8, 2020
Gestures like giving his Man of the Series award to an equally deserving Natarajan show just how much Hardik Pandya has matured over the last couple of years. Makes me feel really happy as an Indian cricket fan. pic.twitter.com/1MpZR8N3ci— Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) December 8, 2020
Hardik Pandya - The most down to earth human being. He handed his Man Of The Series award to T Natarajan because he felt he deserved that award. pic.twitter.com/QW5hm77BuY— kíղց נ∂ 🐾 (@ItzBadBoy_) December 8, 2020
Cricket is Still Gentleman's Game @hardikpandya7 hand over the man of the series award to @Natarajan_91 @hardikpandya7 You are sure to get the highest honor award in the world of cricket.Hats Off Hardik 👏#AUSvIND #Hardik #Natarajan pic.twitter.com/lRmsz34VBT— DANUSHKA ARAVINDA (@DanuskaAravinda) December 8, 2020
After the conclusion of T20I series, Pandya made it very clear that he won't be available for the Test matches as he wants to spend some time with his family.
"I don't mind giving interviews because you only have those when you're on the winning side. I haven't seen my child for four months, so I'd like to spend some time with family right now," Pandya said.