'When we talk about form, it’s not 50s...': Manjrekar's huge praise for India star who is playing 'on different planet'
Former Indian batter Sanjay Manjrekar has reserved ultimate praise for a star cricketer after India's meeting with Australia in the 1st T20I of the three-match series at Mohali.
With Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma showcasing rare batting failures in the series opener against Australia, the onus was on opener KL Rahul to deliver the goods for Team India in the recently concluded Mohali encounter. Rahul, who has been under the pump for his mediocre run with the willow, returned back to scoring ways in the 1st T20I of the bilateral series between India and Australia at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium on Tuesday.
The Indian opener scored an impressive 55 off 35 balls before middle-order batter Hardik Pandya took over and joined forces with an on-song Suryakumar Yadav. Playing the role of a finisher in the series opener, Pandya tormented the world-class bowling attack of the Aaron Finch-led side at Mohali. Pandya's batting masterclass turned the series opener into a high-scoring contest at Mohali. Pandya also earned plaudits for his batting exploits from the entire cricket fraternity.
Speaking on SPORTS18's show 'SPORTS OVER THE TOP', former Indian batter Sanjay Manjrekar hailed Pandya, for his batting brilliance. The former Indian batter and full-time cricket pundit observed that Pandya is one such batter who is currently playing on a different planet. "You know we thought in the Asia cup, that maybe he’s lost his mojo a little bit and whether if he’s quickly going to come in form but that was sort of bump in the kind of batting form that we’ve seen with Hardik Pandya," Manjrekar said.
Taking the Australian bowlers to the cleaners, Pandya smashed 71 off 30 balls in the 20-over contest. Riding on Pandya's sublime knock, Rohit-led Team India managed to score 208-6 in 20 overs. However, Pandya’s heroics went in vain as India lost the high-scoring thriller by 4 wickets.
"When we talk about form it’s not about 40s, 50s or 60s. The kind of shorts and the impact he’s making with the bat and again we’re back to the Hardik Pandya who’s playing on a different planet currently. Class batting against some quality bowling. I think that is very important to note as well. And because India batted first, it wasn’t as easy as it was in the second half of the match. So, hats off to Hardik," Manjrekar added.