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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Hardik Pandya Gives India Balance and Breathing Room for Batsmen like Virat Kohli who are Struggling

Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya's duo helped India to clinch the ODI series against England

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Russell Chattaraj
Russell Chattaraj
Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

UNITED KINGDOM: In the third ODI in Manchester, Jadeja’s spectacular catch gave Hardik Pandya his fourth wicket, the all-first rounder’s four-for in ODIs. Hardik Pandya then rescued India from 72 for 4, scoring 71 off 55. After smashing 51 out of 33 last week, Pandya recorded just his second four-for in a Twenty20 match in Southampton.

Jos Buttler was caught off-balance by Hardik Pandya’s final pitch of his sixth over, and the England white-ball captain jumped upon the opportunity. However, Ravindra Jadeja’s superior athleticism allowed him to sprint to the ball from a deep square leg and held onto it after impact with the ground. Buttler swung the ball high in front of the square from outside off.

Balancing The Team

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Hardik Pandya has immediately demonstrated how much India missed him since his return to the team in June against South Africa, especially in his fit-and-firing avatar. He gives this squad the perfect amount of balance, which has a significance that goes far beyond the significant advances he frequently makes or the runs he scores and there is no question that no other all-rounder in India possesses the skill necessary to delicately adjust the team-combination scales in white-ball cricket.

India now has a good cushion in case one of the bowlers turns out to be pricey, thanks to Pandya’s presence. Additionally, it prevented them from seeing Jasprit Bumrah, their top pacer, too much at Old Trafford. Pandya has stepped up to that position as well, even if it’s something as simple but crucial as delivering a dependable second-change stint following the opening bursts from Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.

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Jadeja on the team sheet implies that the specialists coming before him have much more breathing room in case one or more of them are out of shape, as Virat Kohli is currently if Shardul Thakur or Bhuvneshwar Kumar must fill the position of a bowling all-rounder to support what is already a big tail, the game changes.

The specialists can bat more freely and take more chances at the top, following how the white-ball game progresses globally if genuine all-rounders are present.

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Most importantly, a healthy Hardik Pandya means India’s preparation for the T20 World Cup is progressing. India will continue to believe that its arduous preparation for Australia will pay off. In the 2021 T20 World Cup, Hardik Pandya had only bowled four overs in five games, effectively playing as a specialist batsman. It has been made clear that this is not what they want him to be.

It was encouraging when Hardik Pandya sent down up to seven overs in Manchester. The last time he bowled more than his allotted amount in an ODI was in the 2019 World Cup semifinal at Old Trafford, where he also bowled nine against England in March 2021. Since bowling a single over in his comeback match against South Africa in Delhi last month, his workload has gradually increased.

Hardik Pandya’s deliveries in Manchester were typically either short or short of good. Mohammed Shami went to many lengths in quest of an early swing, but only Mohammed Siraj had discovered any movement with the new ball. When Hardik Pandya noticed, he changed his approach.

“I had to bend my back slightly. My ideas have to be modified. I chose the short ball and used it as a wicket-taking delivery after realising that this wasn’t the wicket to go full.” After taking 4 for 24 in the England innings, he claimed, “I fancy my bouncers.”

Hardik Pandya can move the ball around; he has a Test five-for in England. However, in white-ball cricket, he makes clever use of his variety of short balls. He can dig in a vicious quick one or off-cutter at the batsman’s throat in addition to bowling wide pitches pace-on or slowly.

In Manchester, Pandya exploited Liam Livingstone’s ego. He could afford to let up a few runs for a further wicket because his initial four-over spell only cost him two runs. Livingstone was ducking and fending off his bouncers while swinging and missing. Livingstone smashed two sixes against Pandya but Pandya had the last laugh as he dismissed Livingstone on the 3rd delivery of his sixth over.

He frequently takes the short ball on, and whenever he does, Pandya said, “It gives me the chills thinking that occasionally you can win the battle and sometimes I can.” “I told the captain that even if I hit four sixes, it wouldn’t matter; if I got a wicket here, it would matter. The captain is aware of when I should and shouldn’t bowl. I can bend my back and bowl much since my body is in good shape.”

The Saving Act

On Sunday, Pandya’s batting was just as sharp as his bowling. He did not slow down the draw when England went short into his body. When they pitched up, he was prepared to take advantage of the enormous open areas at deep extra cover.

Pandya casually hit the subsequent ball late past backward point for a single after giving bowler Craig Overton a thumbs-up after he zipped a lifter past his outside edge. Pandya’s thunderbolt of a straight drive for four put Rishabh Pant ducking for cover after Reece Topley tried in vain to get caught behind down the leg side. He can quickly dismiss the prior delivery and then launch a powerful retaliation.

The bowler was left scratching his head in awe as an impressive back-foot reflex punch from Livingstone hurtled beyond the extra cover and had such precise timing that it beat the sweeper’s dive into the rope.

Also Read: “This too Shall Pass, Stay Strong”: Pakistani Cricketer Babar Azam Tweeted in Support of Virat Kohli 


  • Russell Chattaraj

    Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

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