Hardik Pandya was named the player of the Twenty20 International series after a superb show with the bat, but the India all-rounder decided to share the award with newcomer T Natarajan who impressed with the ball in a high-scoring series.
Pandya was seen giving the trophy to the bowler, who was playing his first international series for India. He was the standout bowler from both sides with 6-83 in 12 overs and an economy under seven.
“You were outstanding this series. To perform brilliantly in difficult conditions on your India debut speaks volumes of your talent and hardwork. You deserve Man of the Series from my side,” Pandya wrote on Twitter.
Pandya will now be heading home from Australia following his incredible outing in the limited-overs leg and not be part of the upcoming Test series.
Coming off a back surgery and yet to start bowling on a regular basis, Pandya’s showing in the just-concluded limited overs leg of the tour gave rise to hopes that he might be considered for Test selection.
And those beliefs were strengthened when the all-rounder, after his match-winning effort on Sunday, said he wouldn’t mind staying back if the team management wants. However, two days later, he confirmed that he is going back to India.
“I think I should head back home and spend some quality time with my family. I haven’t seen my child for four months, so I’d like to spend some time with family right now,” Pandya said after the third and final T20 International against Australia.
“Maybe in the future. I don’t know, maybe,” he added when asked about his Test comeback.
In the company of his skipper Virat Kohli, Pandya again threatened to take India home but Australia held nerves to finish with a consolation win after conceding the series in the second game on Sunday.
For the sheer impact he made with his astonishing hitting, Pandya was named the player of the Series.
“I’m quite pleased, and wouldn’t mind getting the Man of the Series award, but it was a team effort. We all decided after the second ODI that we’ll treat this as a four-match series now and we were hoping that we would win 3 three of four and that’s what we got, so happy with that,” Pandya said.
India lost the ODI rubber 1-2 after going down in the first two matches but fought back brilliantly to claim the T20I series with wins in the first and second game respectively.
With PTI Inputs
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