Hardik Pandya is one of the most important members of Team India and a vital player in the side. The all-rounder from Baroda, who turned 26 on Friday, has over the years become the backbone of Team India's middle order. He also became the answer to India's search for a fast-bowling all-rounder. In a career spanning over three years, Hardik has managed to cement his place in all three formats of the game (Test, ODI and T20I) thanks to his all-round performance in the most demanding condition and pressure situations,
The hard hitting all-rounder has been India’s answer to the need of finisher at the death overs, the role that was perfectly carried by former India skipper MS Dhoni for many years. Hardik known for his swag and style off the field has put in brilliant performances on the field whenever the team needed him the most. Let us take a look at some of his memorable performance over the period.
The Indian fans will always remember the innings when it looked like the match had almost ended. Chasing a mammoth total of 338 runs in a Champions Trophy final against their archrival Pakistan, India was 54-5 at the end of 14th over. While all the hopes were lost in came Hardik and hammered a quick-fire 76 runs off just 43 balls. which almost took India across the line, however, a moment of miscommunication between him and Ravindra Jadeja resulted in an easy run out for Pakistan.
The lone warrior, Hardik Pandya. pic.twitter.com/nKXs7OoE0b— All India Bakchod (@AllIndiaBakchod) June 18, 2017
Team India famed batting line-up was all over the place against South Africa's pace attack. Even Virat Kohli failed to make an impact with the bat as India were struggling at 76 for 5. This was the moment the ‘West Indian calypso’ from Baroda took centre stage and went after the South African attack which was breathing fire. He scored 93 off 95 balls, against a formidable attack ensuring a decent 200-plus first innings total. He also stitched a highest eighth-wicket partnership with Bhuvneshwar Kumar for India.
With just 2 runs needed of 3 deliveries, the stage was set for Bangladesh to create a big upset by beating India in the World T20 2016. It looked like the 2007 World Cup story was about to be repeated in a Super 10 match. Hardik, who had just made his entry in Team India, was handed the responsibility to defend 12 runs in final over. After the first three deliveries, it looked like the match had slipped away. The in-experienced all-rounder though held his nerves and picked up 3 wickets in 3 balls and help India win the match by 1 run and continue their run in the tournament.