Hardik Pandya predictably came in the playing XI while Mahendra Singh Dhoni missed out due to injured hamstring as India will field in the third ODI against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui on Monday.
His first real contribution on the day was a thing of beauty. The all-rounder, recalled to the side after a provisional suspension on him was lifted by BCCI, flung himself in the air to take a stunning catch. The fact that it resulted in Kane Williamson’s wicket made it extra special.
“It’s good to have him back,” captain Virat Kohli said at the toss.
“He’s someone who has provided really good balance to the side. He can give you five or six overs and pick up wickets, and then his hitting power everyone knows.”
But it was the third aspect of all-round skills that caught the attention first up at Bay Oval.
When Williamson stepped down the track and clipped Yuzvendra Chahal through mid-wicket, Pandya dived full stretch to his left, got both hands to it and completed a superb tumbling catch.
The effort came in for praise on social media (with a few sarcastic remarks to go along with it of course).