Former SunRisers Hyderabad coach Tom Moody has given his views about the ongoing IPL 2020 – speaking in depth about the various teams and the players who have made the stage their own as the 13th season of IPL moves closer to it’s conclusion.
While several players left Moody impressed, It was Hardik Pandya who has specifically caught his eye. While talking to ESPNCricinfo, the Australian coach reserved special praise for Pandya.
“Finishers like him are rare, and when he’s in that type of form, you’d pick him everyday of the week because players that can put a finishing touch like he did – took the score from what we thought was going to be 170, 175 range – it’s game over. That is an impactful moment in the game, even though he was out there for only 14 balls,” Moody told ESPNCricinfo.
While Pandya hasn’t bowled a single delivery this season – coming back from a long injury setback, he has set the stage on fire with his finishing exploits with the bat. He showed no signs of rustiness as he returned after several months away – he last played for India on September 22, 2019. He has provided the much needed impetus to Mumbai at the death – giving them those 30-40 extra runs at a brisk pace.
Pandya has scored 278 runs from just 12 innings, batting lower down the order at an average of 39.71 and a phenomenal strike-rate of 182.89. While he was rested for two consecutive games by Mumbai, he came back for their Playoffs Qualifier 1 game against Delhi Capitals, making his presence known.
The match was for anyone to grab but then Hardik came to the middle and scored a rapid-fire 37* (off 14 balls) which was studded with 5 sixes. As a result of his exploits, Mumbai finished at a handsome 200/5 and in reply, Delhi Capitals could only manage 143/8. Mumbai Indians thus moved to the finals where they now await the winner of the Qualifier 2 between Delhi and SunRisers Hyderabad.