Virat Kohli reveals Head Coach Ravi Shastri was behind sending Hardik Pandya at No.4

Virat Kohli in the post-match presentation hailed Hardik Pandya for his sensible yet quickfire innings to take India to a win in 3rd ODI

Hardik Pandya was sent at the No.4 position against Australia in the run chase ahead of Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav. This decision surprised everyone including the commentator and former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman. However, sending Pandya worked wonders for India as he carried on with his natural game, suppressing his instinct to hit the ball for a few maximums in a row. Pandya went on to score 78 runs from 72 balls, getting out only before taking India to the doorstep of victory. In the post-match presentation, Kohli was all praises for Pandya for rescuing India yet again from a tedious situation.

Kohli revealed the person behind sending Pandya at an unusual position, at No.4 ahead of other batsmen, especially Pandey who was looking to make a mark in the series. It was India’s head coach Ravi Shastri who backed Pandya to go in early in the runchase. Kohli also revealed why Pandya was sent in the middle. It was because spinner Ashton Agar would have slowed down things in the middle. Pandya plays the spinners well, he has struck three sixes in a row three times in ODIs.

Shastri’s ploy worked for India as Pandya struck Agar for a few sixes and disrupted with his bowling figures. He was removed from the bowling attack initially when Pandya came because of the same reason. When Agar was brought back into the attack later and Pandya did exactly what was expected from him.

Here are the sixes Pandya hit off Agar-

Pandya’s approach towards the spinner helped India in the run chase when the wickets were falling. Pandya kept the required run rate in check after Kohli and Jadhav got out. He stitched a partnership with Pandey and took the pressure off him by scoring boundaries when the required run rate started to go up.