T Natarajan and Virat Kohli
T Natarajan and Virat Kohli

On Sunday, Hardik Pandya once again put up a dominating performance as he led India to a 6-wicket victory in the 2nd T20I against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

With the victory, India has gained an unassailable 2-0 lead to seal the T20I series.

Pandya, who scored 42 runs off 22 balls, finished the game with style as he hit a maximum to seal the victory. However, the all-rounder was surprised he won the Player of the Match award.

"In the presentation ceremony I had said that I thought he would be Man of the Match but they say it has become a batsman's game. But when the run rate was higher, he applied the brakes on Aussie innings. The 10-15 runs less he gave was the difference. The way Aussies started and where they ended -- the first thing I said to everyone when we went to the dressing room was that they are 10-15 runs short and if we play normal cricket, we will win and in the end, the runs (Natarajan saved) mattered," said Pandya.

Natarajan took the wickets of Moises Henriques and D'Arcy Short on Sunday and mixed his deliveries well on a surface that was good for batting.

The left-arm pace bowler, who represents SunRisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, had taken three wickets for 30 runs in Friday's game, including Glenn Maxwell's.

"To be honest, I am impressed with him, because he is someone who keeps it simple, I like people who keep things simple and don't complicate things too much. He is one of those, if you tell him, 'Nattu you have to bowl yorker', he goes and bowls a yorker, you tell him to bowl slow ball, he bowls slow ball. He has been fantastic. Coming from a place, he has taken on the opposition, shown character. If you keep things simple, it is for your benefit," said Pandya.

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Free Press Journal