Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya made a promising return to professional cricket in the ongoing DY Patil T20 Cup, in what was his first appearance since the series against South Africa in October where he suffered a back injury.
Pandya, who came on to bat at number four, scored 38 off just 25 deliveries, and his inning comprised of one four and four sixes. He came in at a time when his side Reliance 1 were struggling at 38/2 after losing their star opener Shikhar Dhawan, who is also coming back after an injury setback.
Pandya partnered with Saurabh Tiwary (41) to resurrect the Reliance 1 inning as they went on to put up a 53-run partnership for the third wicket. Pandya, who started slowly, scoring seven runs in his first 12 deliveries, changed gears quickly as he smashed two maximums off Varun Sood's over to add momentum to the Reliance 1 inning. He went on to hit two more maximums off the same bowler before being dismissed at long-on.
Pandya, who is an integral part of the Indian limited-overs setup, will be looking to get back in national colours as he is an important member in India's quest for the World T20 title.
The all-rounder will be looking to prove his fitness to the selectors before they pick the squad for India's three-match ODI series against South Africa starting next month