IND vs ENG 3rd ODI: Hardik Pandya breaks BIG record, equals Shane Watson’s feat
Hardik Pandya became the first and only Indian cricketer till date to score a fifty and take a four-fer in both ODIs and T20Is.
Team India all-rounder Hardik Pandya and his all-round show were instrumental in thrashing England by five wickets in the third and final ODI at Old Trafford on Sunday (July 17). With this win, Rohit Sharma’s side won the three-match ODI series 2-1.
The Gujarat Titans captain first registered his career best bowling figures of 4/24 to restrict England to 259 in 45.5 overs and then scored 71 off just 55 balls with the help of 10 fours to pull India out of trouble and put them on the doorstep of a historic win in Manchester.
With his heroics with both bat and ball, Hardik became the fifth Indian cricketer after Kris Srikanth, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh to take a four-fer and score a fifty in an ODI match for India. In the first T20I of the three-match series against England, Hardik scored 51 from 33 balls and then picked up four wickets for 33 runs to seal India’s win.
He became the first and only Indian cricketer till date to score a fifty and take a four-fer in both ODIs and T20Is. In international cricket, up till now, 56 players have scored a fifty and picked up four wickets in the same ODI match and five cricketers have repeated this trick in T20Is.
But only Hardik and former Australian T20I captain and 2015 World Cup-winner Shane Watson are the two cricketers who have scored a half-century and got rid of four batters in both ODIs and T20Is.
Hardik, the bowler, feels he has finally got his rhythm back and going forward, the India star will continue to be 'smart' about his job and bowl at full pace only when ‘required’. Not being able to bowl regularly due to fitness issues had cost Hardik his place in the Indian team but he made a roaring comeback with the IPL 2022. More recently, he was at his absolute best with bat and ball in the white-ball series in England.
His ability with the bat was never in doubt but he has turned heads with his brilliant bowling performances against England. The 28-year-old took career-best figures, 4/33 and 4/24, in the T20 and ODI series.
The standout figures in the 50-over format came on Sunday when he bowled at good pace before making a match winning contribution with the bat alongside Rishabh Pant. Speaking to media post the third ODI, Hardik said to be able to bowl regularly gives him a lot of satisfaction.
“So firstly with my bowling, you know post IPL. After every series I take maybe four or five days to train because that is refuelling for my fitness and just to get fresh. I like to play 100 per cent because then it gives me the opportunity to do all the things which I did today,” said Hardik.
He could not find the rhythm in the preceding series in Ireland but England brought the best out of him. “After IPL, I came back to play the South Africa series. I bowled one over and I did not bowl in couple of games. As a bowler for me, it's very important to keep bowling. So I was not finding the rhythm. Even in Ireland when I played I was not getting the rhythm which I wanted to because I find myself a control bowler. I don't have much skills you know, get the batter out by opening him up and nipping the ball inside and all that, I play with smartness. I try to outsmart the batter,” he said.
(with PTI inputs)