© AFP
Hardik Pandya scored his maiden Test ton © AFP

Considered a Twenty20 and One-Day specialist, Hardik Pandya shined in the most testing of conditions in Sri Lanka. Pandya, who scored a half-century on his India Test debut at Galle, danced his way to his maiden Test hundred in the ongoing third Test at Pallekele. India who already led the 3-Test 2-0, found them in a hole on Day 2 after Sri Lanka had them tottering at 337 for 7. Pandya soon snitched a crucial stand with Kuldeep Yadav that saw India comeback into the game. After Kuldeep’s wicket Pandya broke all shackles and blitzed to his maiden Test ton in merely 86 balls inclusive of 7 sixes and 7 fours; fastest for an Indian at No.8 or below.

Pandya reached his second half-fifty in 61 balls, and needed just 25 balls to reached his maiden Test ton. With this he joined an elite list of Indian players whose first First-Class century came in Test (Vijay Manjrekar, Kapil Dev, Ajay Ratra, Harbhajan Singh). In those 50 runs, he clobbered 6 sixes and 3 fours. He took on Malinda Pushpakumara in particular cantering him for 26 runs in an over; most by an Indian in Test. He with this also equalled Craig McMillan’s record of most runs in an over; he is now at the joint fifth spot for most runs in an over in Tests. Interestingly this is also the third time that Pandya’s has smacked 3 sixes on 3 consecutive balls in the last 3 months; twice versus Pakistan in ICC Champions Trophy 2017. The last record for most runs in an over for India belonged to Kapil Dev (24) versus England. Pandya has currently added 65 runs with Mohammed Shami for the 10th wicket at time of publishing this report.