Hardik Pandya, the Indian all-rounder has hardly bowled in recent times after suffering a shoulder niggle. The Indian team has long wanted him to be 100% fit before handing him the ball. In the first ODI against Sri Lanka on Sunday (July 18), Hardik Pandya has been finally seen bowling after a really long time.
Former Indian cricketer, a wicketkeeper, and commentator Deep Dasgupta gave his take on Hardik Pandya bowling for the Indian team. He said it was a “very, very positive sign,” in a video on his YouTube channel.
Hardik Pandya Was Looking Really Fit While Bowling After A Long Time: Deep Dasgupta
Deep Dasgupta also added that Hardik Pandya’s bowling is very important for India in limited-overs cricket, especially with the forthcoming 2021 T20 World Cup arriving soon. Hardik Pandya was handed the ball against Sri Lanka in the last over of the first powerplay.
When talking about Pandya’s bowling, Deep Dasgupta said: “He didn’t just bowl, but bowled in the death overs as well. He went for a few runs but his bowling seemed very close to what it used to be.”
Hardik Pandya is a key member of India’s limited-overs setup and his bowling provides some much-needed balance to the team. Hardik Pandya did not bowl a lot in the first ODI, but just seeing him bowl will come as a huge relief to the Indian management and fans. He bowled five overs conceding 34 runs and also managed to pick up a wicket.
“He was bowling bouncers, pace was up, was looking really fit, and was quick through the action,” added Deep Dasgupta.
After recovering from a career-threatening back injury he suffered in 2019 for which he went back surgery, Hardik Pandya bowled quite impressively and without too much apparent discomfort during the limited-overs series against England. He didn’t bowl in IPL 2020 at UAE and didn’t bowl much in the Australia tour except for one ODI. Hardik Pandya has bowled sporadically since his back surgery, which has led to his non-selection in Test format.
Prithvi Shaw Awarded Man Of The Match For His 43 Off Just 24 Balls
Sri Lanka only managed 262 runs at the end of their allotted 50 overs and that was never going to be enough against a good Indian batting line-up. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were excellent and secured two wickets each, while Krunal Pandya dried up the runs with a tight spell.
India won the first ODI against Sri Lanka by seven wickets with 80 balls to spare to open their tour on a positive note. The hosts opted to bat first but failed to get a good total on the board as they failed to increase the momentum in the middle overs.
Chasing 263 for victory, Prithvi Shaw provided India with a flying start. He was awarded the Player of the Match for his attacking 43 off just 24 balls that took the wind out of the Lankans’ sails.
Skipper Shikhar Dhawan initially played second fiddle to Prithvi Shaw but opened up later on. He remained unbeaten on 86, while Ishan Kishan scored an attacking 59 on his ODI debut. India has now taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. They will look to continue the momentum in the second ODI on July 20 and secure the series with a match to spare.