Two overs. That is all it took for Man-of-the-series Hardik Pandya to make an impact with the ball in the fifth One-Day International against Australia in Nagpur. The India all-rounder sent a well-set Aaron Finch packing, triggering yet another middle-order collapse in the Australian ranks. All through the series, Pandya hardly put a foot wrong and cemented his place as a match-winner for India, earning praise from ex-players, pundits and fans alike.
Till the third ODI, it was Pandya reserving some special treatment to the spinners – Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar – that was the biggest talking point. While his big-hitting exploits didn’t stop, the 24-year-old then turned into the man with the golden arm, picking up wickets at key intervals. However, the despite the Gujarat all-rounder’s best efforts with the bat and ball, India succumbed to a rare defeat in the fourth ODI at Bengaluru.
Pandya’s displays earned him new fans – the innumerable banners over the course of the series hailing his abilities was proof enough. Twitter also toasted Pandya, who, many believe is India’s long-awaited answer to their quest for a pace-bowling all-rounder.
There was some brotherly love on display...
...while some pointed out how far the lad has come.