MSD happy with ‘deceptive’ Pandya’s effort


India all-rounder Hardik Pandya made the step up from T20s in superb fashion on Sunday as he took three wickets on ODI debut, and skipper MS Dhoni was pleased with his efforts.

Pandya made a splash from the start of his short India career, averaging 24 with the ball in 16 T20s, and this earned him a call to the ODI side, thanks to a few injuries in the squad.

He took full advantage, bagging 3/31 in the win against New Zealand at Dharamsala, and Dhoni was happy to continue with Pandya as long as he got results.

Dhoni said of opening with the medium-pacer: “Our thinking was to give him a chance to exploit the new ball.

“The reason being, we all felt, he is quite deceptive – he can bowl quick and he has got movement.

“Even on wickets where some of the other bowlers don’t get that kind of swing, he is still somebody who can get some purchase of the wicket.

“We only have eight games before the Champions Trophy, so we would like to see under different situations and conditions how he reacts and how he quickly he can adapt to the conditions.

“Of course, let’s say for example, if it is 2-2 and it is the fifth game of the series, then we will obviously try to play the best XI.

“But, I don’t see any reason if he keeps performing the way he did in this game why he can’t be our first pick when it comes to the three fast bowlers.”

There are four matches left in the series.