Hardik Pandya (File Photo)
The desperate times called for desperate measures as India captain Virat Kohli gave the ball to Hardik Pandya in the 2nd ODI against Australia in Sydney. After the first ODI, skipper Virat Kohli had expressed his concerns regarding the Indian team not having a 6th bowler and an allrounder in the team since Hardik is unable to bowl at the moment.
But after Australia were cruising once again towards a mammoth total in the 2nd ODI, Kohli decided to put Pandya into the attack. Hardik bowled the 35th over of the match, in which he gave just 5 runs despite Steve Smith being in attacking mode.
This was the first over bowled by Pandya in international cricket since India’s 3rd T20I against South Africa in September 2019. It was after 434 days that Pandya was bowling in limited-overs cricket.
Pandya’s big moment with the ball came in the 42nd over, when he dismissed Steve Smith for 104. Pandya bowled a slower one outside off stump, and Smith backed away to try and slash it through point. But he mistimed his shot, and got an outside edge. The ball went straight to Mohammed Shami at short third man position.
Pandya finished his spell of 4 overs with 24/1.
With another 10 months left for the ICC T20 World Cup, Pandya had indicated on Friday that bowling is something that he wants to do keeping long-term goals and big events in mind. Pandya underwent a back surgery in October last year in the UK. His lower back had been troubling him since the Test series in England in 2018. The surgery kept him out of action for almost a year, with the all-rounder last playing a T20 International against South Africa at home in September 2019.
He missed the Tests against the same opposition after that, the home series against Bangladesh and the West Indies, a T20I series against Sri Lanka and ODIs against Australia at home, and the entire tour of New Zealand earlier this year.
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