The Big Picture
After enduring scathing criticism from cricket fans and pundits alike, India’s all-rounder Hardik Pandya silenced his critics with a mesmerizing spell of seam and swing bowling to claim his maiden five-wicket-haul of his career and nip hosts England in the bud, skittling them out for a poultry 161 in response to India’s 329.
There have been seeing questions regarding Pandya’s role as an all-rounder with many pundits including former West Indian fast bowler Michael Holding.
“The [Indian] attack has not been the right balance. Apparently, they are playing Hardik Pandya as an all-rounder to help out with the bowling. When he bowls he isn’t as effective as he should be.
If he was a good batsman, if he was getting runs – 60s, 70s, not even regular hundreds – at the number at which he bats and then he bowls and gets two or three wickets, happy, hallelujah. Happy with that. But he is not getting the number of runs that can then allow him to get a wicket or two in the Test match. That doesn’t work.”
Talking about Pandya’s pedigree as a Test bowler, Holding stated “I don’t think he does a lot with the ball. That is number one. He is not consistent. He does not have the control that puts batsmen under pressure constantly.”
But, on day 02, Pandya- the bowler stood up and with his menacing outswingers nipped out Root, Bairstow, Broad, Woakes and Rashid to register the second fastest five-wicket haul (29 balls).
Here’s how Twitter reacted to Pandya’s maiden five-for:-