Hardik Pandya’s maiden five wicket haul allowed the Indian team to move into a commanding position at the end of the second day of the third test at Trent Bridge on Sunday.
Pandya had come in for criticism from legendary West Indian bowler Michael Holding, who said that the Mumbai Indians star was “not a test all rounder yet”, and was also the subject of snide remarks from former England players Nick Compton and Owais Shah on social media site Twitter.
The 24 year old registered his career best figures of 5/28 and accounted for opposition skipper Joe Root, in form wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow and Lord’s centurion Chris Woakes in a devastating 29 ball spell, making him the second fastest Indian to pick a fiver in an innings (the record is held by Harbhajan Singh, who took 27 balls to achieve the feat against West Indies at Kingston back in 2006). In addition to the trio mentioned above, Pandya also claimed the wickets of Adil Rashid and Stuart Broad.
As seen on Insider Cricket, India were staring down the barrel coming into the third test at Trent Bridge after demoralising defeats at Edgbaston and Lord’s. Pandya’s spell gave the visitors a lead of 168 runs and they were 292 ahead at the end of the day’s play, putting them in command for effectively the first time in this five match series.
While many have said that Pandya shouldn’t be compared to Kapil Dev, it’s interesting to note that the former has now achieved the feat of a test hundred and five wickets in an innings in the same time (10 tests) as the legendary World Cup winning skipper.
There was another reason to celebrate for team India, as hard hitting wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant took 5 catches on debut. There were questions regarding the youngster’s keeping abilities coming into this test, but he put in an excellent performance behind the stumps to support his pacers, who took only 38 overs to take all 10 English wickets.