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India vs Australia: Hardik Pandya back on another planet after Asian Cup setback, says Manjrekar

Sanjay Manjrekar said that Hardik Pandya is playing on another planet again after the Asia Cup. Pandya went unbeaten on 71 from 30 balls against Australia in the first T20I in Mohali on 20 September.

Hardik Pandya scored 71* out of 30 against Australia. (AP photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hardik Pandya didn’t hit 71 on 30 balls against Australia in 1st T20I
  • Sanjay Manjrekar said Hardik Pandya impressed again with the bat
  • India lost the first T20I by four wickets to Australia in Mohali on September 20

Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar said all-rounder Hardik Pandya is back on another planet after concerns were raised over his loss of form in the recent Asian Cup.

Hardik Pandya‘s quick knockout of 71 not out of 30 balls lifted India to 208/6 against Australia in the first T20I match in Mohali on September 20.

Pandya, who played a match-winning 33* out of 17 knockout against Pakistan in the continental tournament, appeared to have lost his form in subsequent matches. However, the all-rounder increased his impact in the opening game against Australia.

“You know, we thought in the Asian Cup, maybe he lost his mojo a little bit and if he would get in shape soon, but that was kind of a bump in the kind of batting form we’ve seen with Hardik Pandya,” said Manjrekar during a speech on SPORTS18’s show ‘SPORTS OVER THE TOP’.

“When we talk about form, it’s not about the 40s, 50s or 60s. The kind of shorts and the impact he makes with the bat and again we are back to the Hardik Pandya currently playing on another planet.

“Class batting against quality bowling. I think that’s also very important to note. And because India batted first, it wasn’t as easy as it was in the second half of the match. So hats off to Hardik,” Manjrekar added.

Despite Hardik Pandya’s brilliance with the bat, India failed to defend 209 runs against Australia. Cameron Green (61 out of 30) and threatened to take the game out of India after losing his captain Aaron Finch early on. Umesh Yadav gave India some hope when he removed Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell.

However, Matthew Wade and Tim David went deep into the game to keep Australia alive in the match. The penultimate over proved to be the difference when Wade made three back-to-back limits of ‘s bowling Bhuvneshwar Kumara to reduce the tie of two runs needed for the last over.

Pat Cummins then took Australia home in style with a boundary, helping his team take a four-wicket win over India. A 1-0 Australia will face India in the second T20I on September 23 in Nagpur.

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