Over the years we’ve been hearing one phrase and that’s ‘Dhoni finishes in style’ but today it was different as his successor for the finisher’s role Hardik Pandya finished things off in style for the Indian team against Australia in the 2nd T20 international at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Hardik Pandya’s scored 14 runs off the last over to seal the series for India to mark the 10th consecutive T20 international win for the Indian side.
It all started at the toss as the Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bowl first as he wanted to restrict the Australians on a low total and chase it down in the second innings. On the other hand, Aaron Finch was missing at the toss as his deputy Matthew Wade stepped since Finch was injured. Both sides made as many as three changes to their playing with Manish Pandey, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja missed out with the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur and Yuzvendra Chahal replacing them.
Hardik Pandya Finishes Things Off In Style
Australia batting first went all blazing guns in the innings initially with their skipper Matthew Wade leading the charge as he scored a knock of 58 runs off just 32 deliveries. In the middle order, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell and Moises Henriques had their fair share of runs as Australia posted a target of 194 runs at the end of 20 overs.
In reply, the Indian openers KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan had a fiery start to the chase as they went on to put up a fifty run stand between them in under six overs. After Rahul’s departure, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan held on to a partnership of 39 runs until Dhawan gave his wicket to leg spinner Adam Zampa.
The match was then stretched down till the last over when India needed 14 runs off the last 6 deliveries with Hardik Pandya and Shreyas Iyer at the crease. Daniel Sams was to bowl the last over wherein Hardik Pandya finished the match off in style as he notched up two sixes in the span of 4 deliveries to help India seal the series win.
‘I Back Myself and Not Become Overconfident’ – Hardik Pandya
The man of the match of today’s game Hardik Pandya said that the chase was a lot simpler for him since he knew which bowlers to target. Also for a fact that he had been in similar situations before which rather helped him in the type of situation, he was in today. As a batsman, he just wanted to back himself and also not become overconfident in the process.
“It’s very simple. I like to look at the scoreboard and play so that I know which bowlers to target. I have been in these situations many times and I learnt from my mistakes in the past. My game is always around the confidence which I carry, it has that fine line where I back myself and not become overconfident,” Hardik Pandya said.
Hardik Pandya further added how T Natarajan should’ve been the man of the match when all the bowlers were conceding over 10 runs in one over, it was Natarajan who held his nerve and just gave 20 runs in his spell of four overs and also picked three wickets in the process.
“I always remember all those times when we chased big totals and it helps. In T20s you actually have more time than you think. If we need 70-80 odd in 30 balls, I don’t look at the whole thing and I break it down to 12 balls and focus more on the process than the end result. They were batting really well and we wanted to be a positive and special mention to Natarajan as well. I thought he should be the Man of the Match because the bowlers struggled here and he had a really good game,” Pandya added.