With a massive 90-run victory in the third ODI in Indore on Tuesday, India won the ODI series against New Zealand (January 24). Rohit Sharma broke his century drought, while Shubman Gill stole the show with a 112-run knock off 78 deliveries to help India to a big total. Later, Shardul Thakur delivered a match-winning stint, taking three crucial wickets to claim Player of the Match honours.
After a strong start, the Indian middle-order failed to maintain the pace, with Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav unable to contribute significantly. With 313 runs on the board, India also lost Washington Sundar for their sixth wicket. However, speed all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur contributed a vital 54-run stand for the seventh wicket to push India above the 380-run barrier.
Hardik scored 54 runs off 38 balls, hitting three fours and three sixes, while Shardul added 25 runs at a strike rate of 147.05. Both players kept the strike shifting with singles and doubles and were at ease in their pairing.
At the conclusion of India’s innings, former head coach Ravi Shastri questioned Hardik who was offering guidance to whom, to which Hardik answered with a sly smirk. He explained that Shardul believes in him and has let him run the game.
“Fortunately, Shardul has trust in me and lets me determine the terms on the inside. But he always has a point, and I try to listen, but in the end, because of his confidence in me, he does precisely what I want. So it was integrated in our collaboration, but I’m thankful to Shardul for listening to me “Hardik informed Ravi Shastri.