Australia Tour of India 2017

Virat Kohli lauds Hardik Pandya for his all-round effort

[caption id="attachment_55162" align="alignnone" width="580"]India Indian team has climbed up to the top of the ICC ODI rankings following their series win over Australia at Indore. Image Source: ICC[/caption]

Internet Desk: Indian captain Virat Kohli lauded the effort of Hardik Pandya for the ODI series win over Australia at Indore on Sunday. The Indians successfully chased the target of 294 runs set by Steve Smith and his team with 5 wickets in hand and 13 balls to spare. Hardik Pandya was adjudged the player of the match for his all-round contribution of 78 runs off 72 balls (five 4s and four 6s) and bowling figures of 10-0-58-1.

According to Virat, it was a 330-340 runs wicket. The visitors were well on course to achieve that total before the Indian bowlers clawed their way back into the match in the last 15 overs.

"Like Steve mentioned, the first 35 overs were good from their end. We knew when we get 2-3 wickets with their lower middle order, we could pull things back. It was a 330-340 wicket. Coming back from difficult situations has been a feature of this team. Wrist-spinners need to be backed, they won't always get grip from the wicket, but they possess the ability to get wickets. They were 35-40 runs short. I'm really, really satisfied with the win. Hardik is a star, has the ability with the ball, bat and in the field. We need a guy like that, we've been missing an explosive allrounder like him. He's a great asset for Indian cricket. The idea of his promotion up the batting order was Ravi bhai's, to attack the spinner (Agar). We might try few players now, but mindset remains the same. The journey stops only after the fifth game," said Virat in the post match presentation ceremony.

Australian captain Steve Smith visibly looked shattered after the series loss. According to Smith, “Indians executed well in death overs, we didn't. We set it up beautifully with the bat in the first 37-38 overs and put in ourselves a good position. Finchy played magnificently. In the death overs the Indian bowlers executed well, we did poorly. We needed a 330-plus total on this wicket.”

Lauding the effort of Hardik Pandya, Smith said, "Hardik was magnificent in end there. the wicket slowed up a little bit for both teams. The ball came on for the first 35 overs in both innings, but then slowed down. We weren't good enough to tackle that."

India leads the series 3-0 with two more matches to go.

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