India vs South Africa 2020: Hardik Pandya close to achieving unique ODI feat
- The 26-year-old all-rounder is set to become the 13th Indian to score 1,000 runs and take 50 wickets in ODIs.
Pandya had undergone back surgery and was not fit for India's tour to New Zealand. However, he has proved his fitness in the DY Patil T20 tournament where he smashed two hundreds, one of which was a 55-ball 158 en route to which, he smashed an unbelievable 20 sixes. Thus, his return will give India a tremendous boost and skipper Virat Kohli will be keen to get back to winning ways.
Pandya is also just 43 runs away from becoming the 13th Indian cricketer to have a tally of thousand runs and fifty wickets in ODI cricket. This is a unique feat and is something that underlines how big an asset the 26-year-old has been to Indian cricket due to the kind of balance that he brings to the team.
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Pandya played his last ODI in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 against New Zealand in the semi-finals and his last international game in the third T20I against South Africa at Bangalore. Ever since, he has been recovering from back surgery and in an interview with Yuzvendra Chahal, which was posted on BCCI's website, he revealed how difficult it was for him to make a comeback.
“I missed this atmosphere the most in these last six months, playing for the country and the feeling you get wearing the team’s colours,” Pandya said.
“That had become a mental challenge and there were a lot of setbacks. I was trying to get back to full fitness quickly but that did not work out and a lot of mental pressure came at the time. But touchwood, everything went fine, the rehabilitation went well and a lot of people helped me,” he further added.Published 12 Mar 2020, 17:45 IST