Indian captain Virat Kohli calls him the ‘Superstar’ and Hardik Pandya who made his debut in 2016, has been quite impressive, thereby proving his skipper right. Pandya who has been dubbed as legendary Kapil Dev’s natural successor has been majestic with both bat and ball. Interestingly, Hardik Pandya portrays the ‘IPL breed’. A category of players catapulted into the limelight with constant exposure to prime-time television. Confidence, fearlessness, hardly any flicker of intimidation while rubbing shoulders with the best. On Sunday, the Gujarati swashbuckler became the second man after Kapil Dev to achieve this feat. In the 3rd ODI, Pandya picked up his 30th wicket in 2017 to equal the feat of Kapil’s record of scoring 500-plus runs and 30-plus wickets in one-day internationals in a calendar year. Kapil Dev had managed the feat back in 1986. After 31 years, Pandya achieved the feat.
Back in 1986, Dev played 27 matches and scored 517 runs, with a highest of 58. With the ball, he had picked up 32 wickets with a best of 4/30. Pandya also had a very similar 2017, in terms of success with the ball. He picked up 31 ODI wickets, with best figures of 3/40, and was no slump with the bat either. He has 557 runs so far with his career-best 83 coming in this year against Australia.
Meanwhile, with a thumping eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the third and final ODI in Visakhapatnam, India sealed yet another series win to end 2017 without losing a single ODI bilateral series. Shikhar Dhawan was the star of the show as he slammed his 12th hundred in one-day internationals to guide his side to a comfortable victory. Chasing a tricky target of 216, the home team lost their skipper early but a fine 135-run stand between young Shreyas Iyer and the experienced Shikhar Dhawan saw the men in blue romp home comfortably.