Hardik Pandya (Image caption: AFP)
Hardik Pandya (Image caption: AFP)

Virat Kohli wants Hardik Pandya to be India’s answer to Ben Stokes. It has been 23 years since Kapil Dev’s retirement and India have been looking for a replacement. Pandya seems to be the closest hope. On Sunday, Day Two of the third and the final Test between India and Sri Lanka, Pandya broke a record that was set by Kapil by slamming 26 runs off Malinda Pushpakumara’s over. This is now the joint fifth-highest runs taken off an over in Test cricket and the most plundered by an Indian batsman. Kapil had got 24 off an over against England. ALSO READ: Hardik Pandya slams maiden Test ton

The record for most runs in an over in Test is jointly held by Brain Lara and George Bailey. While Lara’s victim was South African left-arm spinner Robin Peterson, Bailey’s exploits were more recent, in the Ashes 2013-14, slamming 28 off English paceman James Anderson. At No. 2 spot is Shahid Afridi, who had slammed 27 from off Harbhajan Singh. Pandya slammed Pushpakumara for 2 consecutive boundaries and 3 consecutive sixes and got 26 from the first 5 balls. The world record was a strike away, but the final ball of the over ended in a dot. Pandya has now joined the illustrious club of Craig McMillan, Lara, Brendon McCullum and Mitchell Johnson, the other men who have plundered 26 off an over. Pandya, who walked out to bat at 322 for 6 went on to slam his maiden Test century and that came off just 86 balls. India took lunch at Day 2 at 487 for 9 with Pandya batting on 108.