“MS Dhoni-kind Of Innings”: India Batter’s Ultimate Praise For Hardik Pandya

All-rounder Hardik Pandya took the responsibility of leading Team India in the series decider ODI match against West Indies on Tuesday as skipper Rohit Sharma and star batter Virat Kohli were rested. Despite the debacle in the second ODI, the visitors took the risk and it literally paid-off as India registered a thumping victory by 200 runs. Openers Shubman Gill (85) and Ishan Kishan (77) stitched a brilliant partnership of 143 runs, along with Hardik scoring 70* to take India to 351/5 in 50 overs. Later, the hosts were bundled out for 151.

Hardik, who was struggling for runs for the past few matches, looked in great touch in the third ODI as he smashed 70* off 52 balls, laced with five sixes and four boundaries. Speaking about Hardik’s knock, India batter Hanuma Vihari praised the all-rounder and went on to compare his innings to former skipper MS Dhoni.

“That was an MS Dhoni-kind of an innings. He bided his time at the start. MS used to do that when he was batting down the order. I think the transition started when he was batting up the order for his franchise, Gujarat Titans. He was batting at No.4, No. 3 sometimes. He wanted to take that responsibility and it showed today as well,” Vihari told JioCinema.

“He paced his innings very well. Hardik Pandya, over the years, has matured really well. He wants to take responsibility. He is a senior player now, he is the vice-captain of the white-ball team. Him taking responsibility is good to see,” he added.

Asked to bat first, India got a terrific start as openers Shubman Gill (85) and Ishan Kishan (77) stitched a record-breaking partnership of 143 runs. Apart from them, Sanju Samson and stand-in skipper Hardik also smashed 51 and 70* runs respectively and took India to a huge total.

The chase was always out of question and Mukesh Kumar‘s (3/30 in 7 overs) three-wicket burst with some quality seam bowling in the first Powerplay dashed West Indies’ hopes as they were shot out for 151 in only 35.3 overs.

Gudakesh Motie (39 not out) and Alzarri Joseph (26) delayed the inevitable with a 55-run stand for the ninth wicket.

Shardul Thakur (4/37 in 6.3 overs), Jaydev Unadkat (1/16 in 5 overs) and Kuldeep Yadav (2/25 in 8 overs) were also among the wickets as the series decider turned out to be a lopsided contest.

(With PTI Inputs)

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