Hardik Pandya, a very special player: Lankan cricket legend Kumar Sangakkara
Hardik Pandya’s rapid rise in international cricket has received recognition from Sri Lankan cricket legend Kumar Sangakkara, who has termed the Indian all-rounder as a ‘very special player’. (IND vs AUS 3rd ODI highlights | Scorecard)
Pandya’s surprise promotion in the batting order at No 4 on Sunday night proved to be no experiment, after the all-rounder smacked a rapid 78 to guide India to a comfortable win over Australia, in the third ODI at the Holkar Stadium in Indore.
India’s win by five wickets not only helped them to seal their ongoing five-match series 3-0, but also propelled them to the world No 1 spot in the ICC Rankings for teams in ODI cricket.
Chasing a tricky 294, Pandya was sent in early to thwart any further pressure that the Australian bowlers could apply, especially after India lost Virat Kohli (28) and Kedar Jadhav (2) in quick succession.
Pandya hammered four sixes and five fours to score a 72-ball 78, taking the match away from Australia’s reach completely. After India’s five-wicket win, Sangakkara showered praise on the all-rounder and also appreciated India’s feat.
“@BCCI seemed to canter to the series win. @hardikpandya7 is a very special player. India looks a complete side for all conditions,” Sangakkara wrote on Twitter.
Pandya was quick to reply, as he wrote:
Pandya made his limited-overs debut in 2016, and during India’s tour of Sri Lanka recently, he was drafted into the Test side. In the third Test at Pallekele, Pandya smacked a 96-ball 108 that played an important role in India’s 3-0 series win.