Hardik Pandya folds his hands, bows down to Shikhar Dhawan for taking Ben Stokes' catch: Watch Video
India vs England: With a light smile, Pandya folded his hands towards Dhawan and bowed down on the ground to thank his India teammate for completing the catch.
Even as India completed a seven-run win in the deciding ODI against England to clinch the series 2-1, certain concerns remain, the most concerning of which is perhaps India's catching. The Indian players dropped four catches on the field, but perhaps none easier than the one Hardik Pandya put down to give the dangerous Ben Strokes a lifeline early in his innings.
Stokes was batting on 15 when he top-edged Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the air. Pandya, who was at long off positioned himself to take the catch but to everyone's shock, put down one of the easiest chances there could be. Pandya immediately turned back leaving his teammates and management in the dugout in shock. At that stage, the biggest concern was India was Stokes, who just two takes ago had snatched the game from India with a whirlwind knock of 99 off 52 balls. And on Sunday night again, here he was, hoping to guide England to another miraculous successful chase.
Not long after the dropped catch, Stokes survived a close run out chance, when scampering for a quick single, KL Rahul's throw from a close-in range missed the stumps by inches. Had the ball hit the stumps, Stokes would have been on his way back. But the rub of the green continues to go the England all-rounder's way.
However, Stokes wouldn't be a third-time lucky. Batting on 38, Stokes slightly advanced down the wicket to a high full toss from T Natarajan and was taken by Shikhar Dhawan at deep square leg. The umpires went upstairs to check the height, but since Stokes had come down, even though the ball was slightly above the waist when Stokes connected it, the dismissal stood.
The camera immediately turned to Pandya, who appeared immensely relieved. With a light smile, Pandya folded his hands towards Dhawan and bowed down on the ground to thank his India teammate for completing the catch. Check out the video below.
Pandya didn't have the greatest of outings in the field as he would go on top drop another relatively easy chance of Sam Curran. Curran was batting on 22 when he hit the ball down the ground, and Pandya, who came running in from long on, failed to hold on to another catch, this time kicking the ground in frustration. The missed chance almost proved costly for India as Curran nearly saw England home with one of the most courageous knocks in recent time remaining unbeaten on 95 off 83 balls.