India all-rounder Hardik Pandya didn’t contribute enough with the bat during the Super 12 round apart from the Pakistan game. To be fair, he didn’t get much of a batting after the 40-run inning against Pakistan. Meanwhile, in the ongoing semifinal against England, he came out to bat after Suryakumar Yadav’s wicket. The latter couldn’t carry his form with the bat in the game.
However, Pandya made sure that the Men In Blue finished strongly in the first innings. He started slowly in the innings as he scored 13 runs in 15 balls including a four. In the 17th over, he hit a six against Sam Curran. This was the start of what turned out to be a carnage of an innings. In the next few overs, he took the 2007 winners from 121 in 17 overs to 168 in 20 overs.
However, the team would have finished 172 if he hadn’t stepped on the wicket. Apparently, on the last ball of the innings, he played a pull shot ala Kapil Dev for a boundary. It didn’t matter as he stepped on the stumps which is why the team ended with 168/6.
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In ongoing England’s chase, the Ahmedabad player hasn’t fielded as he was nursing his palms on the boundary. The team would be hoping for him to recover and bowl a few overs. In reply, to India’s 168, the Three Lions scored 84/0 after eight overs. India desperately needs wickets to stem the flow of runs. It will be interesting to see how India copes after the blows in the initial overs.
Not to forget, the 2010 winners have a weak middle order that hasn’t fired yet. The openers, skipper Jos Buttler and Alex Hales have scored the bulk of runs for the team.