IND vs SA, 1st T20I: Nehra’s reaction as Pandya refuses to strike Karthik
Team India scored 211/4 in 20 overs against South Africa in the first T20 match played at Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Thursday. Ishan Kishan was the stellar performer who gave India a solid start with a knock of 76 runs in just 48 balls while vice-captain Hardik Pandya and skipper Rishabh Pant gave the team the final touches. After Pant’s wicket, Dinesh Karthik joined Pandya in the middle. Karthik is returning to the Indian team after three years, riding on his IPL 2022 heroism where he reinvented himself as a finisher. However, Pandya refused to give strike to Karthik in the last over.
Finisher Hardik Pandya
Impressive batting performance #INDvSA #HardikPandya pic.twitter.com/Opd2JW5wTg
— king (@vk_15555) June 9, 2022
Reacting to the incident, former India cricketer Ashish Nehra expressed his disappointment and said that Karthik is not a storyteller. “He should have taken a single before the last ball. It was Dinesh Karthik at the other end, not me,” Nehra joked on Cricbuzz.
He said, “Hardik Pandya is someone who can play all kinds of roles. He has all kinds of batting. We have seen him do well in Tests and ODIs as well. With his batting ability, he can probably go anywhere. Can bat. No. 3 or 4 position. He was the captain for Gujarat and contributed with the ball as well. It was a different role. Earlier, he was not bowling much and was batting down the order. He is back in his old role tonight… but he has the ability to play any role with ease,” Nehra added.
Pandya whipped Parnell for four overs over midwicket and then hit a six with a short-arm jab at long-on. Rabada came under attack from Pandya in the 19th over when the right-hander hit a six at long-on and squeezed a yorker near short fine leg to make India’s 200. On a pitch where the bowlers got some help, Kishan, Pant and Pandya played a scintillating innings to score the highest score for India against South Africa in T20Is.