India vs Bangladesh: Life comes full circle for Hardik Pandya in T20 ...

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T20 World Cup, India vs Bangladesh: Hardik Pandya's decline in form started last year against Bangladesh and the star India all-rounder seemed to have found his spark against the same opponents albeit in a different format. Hardik produced an inch-perfect performance in the win over Bangladesh.

India vs Bangladesh - Figure 1
Photo India Today

Hardik Pandya has found his spark once again (Courtesy: AP)

New Delhi,UPDATED: Jun 23, 2024 08:10 IST

Vice-captain Hardik Pandya delivered a near-perfect performance during a crucial Super Eight clash against Bangladesh to help India inch closer to a semi-final spot in the T20 World Cup 2024. Hardik looked like finding his old spark during his near-perfect all-round performance (unbeaten 50 off 27 balls and a wicket) in India's comprehensive 50-run victory at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua.

As Hardik said 'it felt like god had planned this comeback' as his fortunes went downhill after a significant injury setback during an ODI World Cup match against Bangladesh. Incidentally, it is also against Bangladesh, albeit in a different World Cup format, Hardik seemed to have found his 'power-hitting mojo'. Mind you, Hardk's journey back to form wasn't easy. After consecutive injuries sidelined him for four months, his return to the MI was fraught with many challenges. As captain, he struggled to inspire his team and was trolled by fans across the country, further denting his confidence. Hardik's big-hitting prowess, once feared by bowlers worldwide, seemed to be fading.

T20 World Cup 2024, Super 8: IND vs BAN Highlights | Full Scorecard

However, a return to India colours during the T20 World Cup 2024 marked a turning point for Pandya. During the Super Eight match vs Bangladesh, Hardik's aggressive batting in the slog overs was a sight to behold. With India teetering after Rishabh Pant's dismissal in the 12th over, Pandya stepped up along with Shivam Dube, blasting 62 runs in the final five overs and steering India to a formidable total of 196. His innings, studded with four boundaries and three towering sixes, silenced his critics and reminded every one of his destructive capabilities.

India vs Bangladesh - Figure 2
Photo India Today

The climax of Pandya's innings came in the final over bowled by Mustafizur Rahman. Displaying finesse and power, Pandya edged the first ball to the boundary and sliced another to the third man. When Rahman tried to outsmart him with a full ball outside off, Pandya elegantly pinged it to the third-man boundary again, reaching his half-century in style.

India's bowlers, inspired by Pandya's knock, performed admirably. Kuldeep Yadav's spell was particularly noteworthy, as he spun a web around the Bangladeshi batters, claiming three crucial wickets including that of Shakib Al Hasan. Bangladesh crumbled under the pressure, unable to chase down India's challenging total.

After the match, Indian captain Rohit Sharma praised Pandya's impact. "Hardik being Hardik, we know what he is capable of. He is a very important player for us. If he can keep doing that, it will put us in good positions. Everyone adapted well with our bowling plans and executed them perfectly," Rohit said during the post-match presentation.

Pandya's resurgence couldn't have come at a better time for Team India. As they advance in the T20 World Cup, his form and confidence will be crucial. This performance not only boosts his morale but also strengthens India's bid for the title. The fans, who once doubted, now watch in anticipation, hoping to see more of Pandya's magic on the world stage. With his recent display, Hardik Pandya has reminded everyone why he is considered one of India's premier all-rounders.

"I have been fortunate to play for the country, it was a freak injury I had, I wanted to come back but God had other plans," Hardik Pandya said after scoring a 27-ball-50 and taking a wicket in India's 50-run victory over Bangladesh."I was speaking to our coach Rahul sir (Dravid) and he said 'Luck comes to people who work hard' and that has stuck with me for a long time," Pandya, who won the Player of the Match award this day, said. "We have played really good cricket. More than anything we have stuck together and executed our plans."

Published On:

Jun 23, 2024

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