3rd ODI | Natarajan Quite an Inspiration: Hardik Pandya Hails India’s Fast Bowling Sensation
Natarajan (© Twitter/@BCCI)

In the third ODI on Wednesday, India beat Australia by 13 runs to register their first win on the much-anticipated tour. The visitors lost the series 2-1 after suffering defeats in the first two matches of the series at Sydney Cricket Ground. In the last ODI, Team India fought hard with both bat and ball to break their 7-match losing streak in international cricket. Flamboyant Hardik Pandya played a massive role with the bat in India’s victory.

Pandya slammed unbeaten 92 runs off 76 balls, as his innings was laced with 7 fours and a six. The 27-year-old was also adjourned Man of the Match for his outstanding performance.

After the match, Pandya said he has been working hard and will also be fine to play in the T20Is against Australia.

“I will be fine to play the T20Is. Been working really hard to make sure I play for my country, so I’m really happy to be playing this series,” Pandya said in the post-match presentation.

The flamboyant all-rounder also hailed debutant T Natarajan, who bowled well in the third ODI and picked two crucial wickets.

“Natarajan is quite a story, quite an inspiration with the background he’s come from. You need to be on your toes to compete against Australia. I feel that you always have that extra edge in you when you play against Australia, you want to face up to that challenge,” Hardik said.

Earlier, Pandya talked about his innings, which guided India to a formidable total of 302/5 in 50 overs, after losing quick wickets in the middle.

“Had to fight it out in the middle, it wasn’t easy to start. When we had those couple of good overs and got some momentum we started believing. We were probably thinking 250-270, but that’s the beauty of the game. When you try to score 70 you end up getting 90. You gotta keep guessing in these conditions with bigger boundaries and I knew there were going to be plenty of short balls, it was for the team (about bowling in the last game) not planned and it was a bit sore to be honest,” Hardik said after India’s innings.