Hardik Pandya hits maiden half-century as India skipper in 3rd ODI vs West Indies


By India Today Sports Desk: Hardik Pandya, on Tuesday, August 1, racked up his maiden half-century as the skipper of the Indian team. The right-handed batter achieved the personal milestone in the third and final ODI against West Indies at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad.

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Hardik got to the feat off 45 balls after India were put in to bat first by hosts’ skipper Shai Hope. Hardik’s previous highest score as the Indian captain was an unbeaten 30 against New Zealand back in November 2022 at McLean Park in Napier.

As the skipper of the national team, Hardik has scored 321 runs from 14 matches at an average of 32.10. Hardik was also struggling with the bat in hand in ODIs in 2023 before he teed off against the West Indies on Tuesday.

Hardik stayed unbeaten on 70 runs off 52 balls with four fours and five sixes. On the back of his knock, India scored 351 for the loss of five wickets in 50 overs.

Hardik has shown signs of stellar leadership ever since taking up the responsibility as the team’s captain in several International ODIs and T20Is. He led the team for the first time last year on the tour of Ireland.

As skipper, Pandya’s leadership style is quite distinct, blending assertiveness with a calm resolve and unyielding competitiveness to guide the team effectively. Notably, he has always shown outstanding tactical acumen, selecting the right bowlers at the right junctures and tinkering field placements based on match situations.

In T20Is, Pandya’s captaincy has been marked by a blend of innovation and boldness, which has been instrumental in marching the team towards victory. His ability to make critical on-field decisions, coupled with his outstanding performances as a player, has boosted the team’s spirit and unity. His decision-making and the way he has rotated his bowlers in pressured situations have played an instrumental role in India’s wins.


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