Men in Blue had a crushing defeat by 66-runs at the hands of Australia in the first ODI on Friday. Hardik Pandya leaked 90-run keeping Men in Blue alive in the chase of 375 runs with the likes of Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul had departed.
Pandya, orchestrating a brilliant partnership of 128 runs for the 5th wicket, helped India put 300 runs on the board, though it wasn’t enough in the end.
Hardik Pandya was the pick of the batsmen for India as the Men in Blue suffered a 66-run defeat at the hands of Australia in the first ODI on Friday. Former India cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, who was sceptical of Pandya being given a spot in the playing XI as ‘pure batsman’, was full of praise for him after the match.
Manjrekar, speaking at the post-match show for broadcaster Sony Six, said,
“I was a little sceptical as we haven’t seen Hardik Pandya, the pure batsman in the past. But after today, there is a lot of promise,” Manjrekar told Sony Six.
“Virender Sehwag made a good point about his competitions. In 50-overs cricket, we would be talking about Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant. MS Dhoni used to play that kind of role. Among the options we have, he is an exciting one now after the promise he showed. Obviously, we want him to do this fairly regularly.
“When you see Hardik Pandya with the kind of ability that he showed today, you’ll be excited as a captain that you have him at No. 6. As an opposition, you’ll be slightly wary of Hardik Pandya at No. 6.
“He showed a lot of clarity. He didn’t take a lot of risks against the fast bowler and when the spinners came one, the big game came on.
“There was clarity and there was sense in the way he batted. I am very impressed. I must confess, I was a little surprised to see this side of Hardik Pandya because I haven’t seen this part in white-ball cricket.