Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Hardik Pandya crashes the ball through off side.(Getty Images)



Australia continue to find no ways to stop Hardik Pandya. After notching up two 90-plus scores in the ODIs, Pandya was the forefront of India’s six-wicket win in the second T20I match at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday, one that helped them seal the series. Pandya remained unbeaten on 42 off 22 balls and helped India chase down a stiff target of 195.

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With India needing 25 to win in the last two overs, Andrey Tye beat Pandya twice outside off, before the batsman asked for a change of bat. The move worked wonders for him and India as Pandya crashed the next two deliveries for four. With 14 needed to win off the last six balls, Pandya and Shreyas Iyer completed a couple of runs, before Pandya connected two sixes off the next three to get India home.

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After the match, Pandya revealed that irrespective of the bat he was batting with, there was only one thing on his mind. “I felt (we were) two good hits (away), quite happy. More than the six I wanted to finish the game. I don’t like the game going till the last ball, I like to finish the game early,” Pandya said.

“I was just going to whack the ball anyway (smiles). The whole five games, I’ve been trying to figure out which bat to bat with. I broke the bat with which I was playing for three years. This one looks alright.”

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Pandya’s blitz left many stunned including the stand in Australia captain Matthew Wade, who led the team in absence of Aaron Finch, who was out with a hip injury. Wade batted brilliantly himself to score 58 off 28 balls to provide Australia an explosive start, but like the rest of his teammates was blown away from Pandya’s hitting.

“It was good fun [to be captain], a lot more fun till Hardik came out. I think we might have been a little short – not a lot, but then it doesn’t matter when Hardik is in [this sort of form],” Wade said after the match.

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