HomeCricketNewsHardik Pandya scored an unbeaten 40, bagged a wicket in warm-up clash...

Hardik Pandya scored an unbeaten 40, bagged a wicket in warm-up clash vs Bangladesh

Indian vice-captain Hardik Pandya who was widely criticised for his form in the IPL 2024 made an impressive comeback in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 warm-up clash against Bangladesh on Saturday.

Ahead of the start of the main event, all participating teams were handed a warmup match to make their preparation for the grand event set to be played between June 2 and 29.

Unlike many other teams, the Indian cricket team have not played any bilateral or international fixtures ahead of their 2024 World Cup appearance in the USA and West Indies.

May teams including Pakistan, England and Bangladesh played at least a couple of international T20 matches ahead of the T20 World Cup appearance. Indian players who engaged in the Indian Premier League regrouped as one and made their first appearance as a team in this warmup game.

Apart from key players, BCCI included Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya who missed this format for a while made their way back straight to the ICC event.

Indian wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant who had a near-fatal car crash in December 2022 played his last T20I match on November 22, 2022, against New Zealand in McLean Park.

On December 30, 2022, Rishabh Pant met with a car accident on the Delhi-Dehradun highway and got hospitalized. Pant missed the entire IPL 2023 season, the World Test Championship finals, and the ODI World Cup 2023 which is hosted by India.

Following his long-absent, Pant made a comeback in the IPL 2024 and led Delhi Capitals. Though DC failed to make execute the expected performance, Rishabh Pant played multiple impressive knocks throughout the tournament. He amazed 446 runs in 13 matches at an average of 40.55 and at a strike rate of 155.40.

On the other hand, Hardik who played his last T20I match in August 2023 against West Indies had a worst outing in the IPL 2024. While leading Mumbai Indians, Hardik managed to score only 216 runs in 14 matches and bagged just 11 wickets in this season.

Hardik failed as both a batter and a bowler and received massive criticism over his inclusion in the T20 World Cup 2024 squad.

With much speculation around the Indian cricket team, Rohit Sharma and Co. made an impressive performance with both and ball in their only warmup game against Bangladesh.

Winning the toss, India decided to bat first and scored 182 runs for 5 wickets loss at the end of 20 overs. Sanju Samson is the only player to lose his wicket for a single-digit score.

Rohit scored a decent 23 off 19 while Rishabh Pant scored 53 off 32 and laid a strong foundation for the team.

Following the half-century, Rishabh Pant returned to the pavilion as “retd out” while Shivam Dube and Suryakumar Yadav made continued their inning. SKY lost his wicket for 31 while Dube lost his wicket for 14 runs. Though Dube’s inning was not much welcomed by Indian cricket fans, he was expected to deliver in the main event or act as a backup option for Hardik Pandya.

Hardik who was under the scanner for his form once again proved his worth by scoring an unbeaten 40 off 23 runs which includes four maximums and a couple of boundaries.

India ended their inning after scoring 182 runs for 5 wickets. While chasing, Bangladesh made a struggling start by losing their top 3 wickets before crossing 10 runs mark.

With a 69 runs partnership between Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh moved to a safer position but Indian bowlers once again bounced back and scattered the dreams of Bangladesh by bagging back-to-back wickets.

At the end of 20 overs, Bangladesh scored 122 runs for 9 wickets loss and lost the game by 60 runs. Arshdeep Singh and Shivam Dube bagged a couple of wickets each while Jasprit Bumrah, Siraj, Hardik, and Axar bagged a wicket each.

Though Hardik Pandya bagged a wicket he returned expensively after losing 30 runs in 3 overs. Arshdeep Singh bagged his 2 wickets at an economy of 4.00 after bowling 3 overs.

With a comfortable victory in the warm-up match, India will play their first match of the tournament against Ireland on June 5 in this same venue.

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