Hardik Pandya Becomes Indian Captain: Hardik Pandya led the Indian team to a seven-wicket win over Ireland in the first match of the two-match series in Dublin on Sunday. This was the first time that Hardik Pandya was captaining the Indian team. The all-rounder made the moment more memorable by returning figures of 1/26 in his bowling and then scoring 12 runs with the bat and 24 runs. Hardik’s lone dismissal in the game made him the first Indian captain to take a T20I wicket.
Eight players captained India before Hardik but none of them took wickets. The players are Virender Sehwag, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant.
Hardik Pandya made a winning start as India captain after beating Ireland by seven wickets in the first Twenty20 of the two-match series on Sunday. Harry Tector’s counter-attack, 64 of 33 balls, took Ireland to 108-4 when rain reduced the game to 12 overs. In reply, India played an 11-ball 26 from Ishan Kishan and an unbeaten 47 from Deepak Hooda. Hardik also played an inning of 24 runs in 12 balls, which helped the visiting team to the victory in 9.2 overs.
Hardik Pandya Becomes Indian Captain: In a surprise move, Hooda started with Ishaan in place of Ruturaj Gaikwad, who was the team management’s choice in all five Twenty20s against South Africa. Hooda found his momentum after a slow start and shared a match winning partnership of 64 runs with Hardik.
On the bowling front, Bhuvneshwar Kumar swung the ball both ways and returned impressive figures of 1/16 in three overs. Hardik put himself into the attack in the second over and it took only two balls to remove Paul Stirling, who misplaced his shot to be caught at mid-off.
Hardik, who conceded 26 runs in his two overs, took just one wicket but became the first Indian captain to achieve the feat. He is currently the only Indian captain to have a T20I wicket.
Talking about the match played on Sunday, Ireland won the toss and decided to bat first. Riding on Harry Tector’s unbeaten 64 off 33, the hosts posted 108/4 in a rail-cut match, which was reduced to 12 overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik, Avesh Khan and Yuzvendra Chahal took one wicket each for India.
Hardik Pandya Becomes Indian Captain: In return, Deepak Hooda scored an unbeaten 47 off 29 balls, Ishan Kishan’s 26 off 11 and Hardik’s 12 to help India reach home with seven wickets and 16 balls to spare.
Hardik said in the post-match presentation, “It’s great to start the series with a win. For us, as a team, it is very important to start with a win. Very happy with that.”
“Ireland batted brilliantly, we had to go back to our main bowlers. Some of the shots he (Harry Tector) played were mind-blowing,” he said.