Hardik Pandya bowled after 434 days in limited-overs cricket as desperate measures were taken in need which showed when India captain Virat Kohli gave the ball to him in the 2nd ODI against Australia in Sydney.
After the conclusion of first ODI, skipper Virat Kohli had expressed his concerns regarding the Indian team not having an additional 6th bowler and an all-rounder in the team since Hardik Pandya is unable to bowl at the moment.
Hardik Pandya Bowls For First Time Since September 2019 In International Cricket
But after Australia were cruising once again towards a mammoth total in the 2nd ODI, Virat Kohli decided to put Hardik Pandya into the attack. Hardik Pandya bowled the 36th over of the match, in which he gave just five runs despite Steve Smith being in attacking mode. He conceded four runs in 38th over, eight runs in 42nd over and seven runs in the 44th over to finish with 1/24.
This was the first over bowled by him in international cricket since India’s 3rd T20I against South Africa in September 2019.
His best moment with the ball came in the 42nd over, when he dismissed centurion Steve Smith for 104. He bowled a slower one outside off stump, and Steve Smith backed away to try and slash it through point. But he mistimed his shot and got an outside edge. The ball went straight to Mohammed Shami at short third man position.
Hardik Pandya Underwent Lower Back Surgery In October 2019:
The all-rounder finished his spell of 4 overs with 24/1 as Australia posted a daunting target of 390 for India to win in the 2nd ODI after successfully defending 374 in the 1st ODI.
He had indicated on Friday that he wants to concentrate on batting only keeping long-term goals and big events in mind with another 10 months left for the ICC T20I World Cup in India besides 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia and 2023 50 overs World Cup.
He underwent back surgery in October last year in the UK. His lower back was troubling him since the Test series in England in 2018. The surgery kept him out of cricketing action for almost a year, with the all-rounder last playing a T20 International against South Africa at home in September 2019.
He missed the Tests against South Africa after that, the home series against Bangladesh and the West Indies, a T20I series against Sri Lanka and ODIs against Australia at home, and the entire tour of New Zealand earlier this year.