Hardik Pandya on Sunday bagged his best ODI figures. The Indian all-rounder took four wickets for 24 runs in his seven overs against England in the third ODI at Manchester as Jos Buttler and co were dismissed for 259 runs in 45.5 overs. 

The 28-year-old then came into bat when India were 72/4. He and Rishabh Pant stitched a fifty-plus stand to take India to 141 runs after 28 overs. Pandya brought his fifty in 43 balls. 

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Bowling first, Pandya bagged the key wickets of Jason Roy (41), Ben Stokes (27), Jos Buttler (60) and Liam Livingstone (27). 

After getting rid of Roy in his very first over, Hardik Pandya continued bowling short and dismissed a well-set Ben Stokes. Buttler and Livingstone’s wickets came in the same over. 

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Liam Livingstone, who had started counter-attacking the Indian bowlers, smashed Hardik Pandya for two sixes. The all-rounder went for a good-length delivery outside off to induce a mis-timed pull. Ravindra Jadeja took the catch. 

Talking about the mini-battle he is having with Livingstone in the series Pandya said, “Livingstone likes to take on the short ball and that gives me goosebumps, he hit me for two sixes but I told my captain even if I go for four sixes here, if I take a wicket, it will make a difference. The body is fine, that’s why I’m bowling so much and without trouble.”

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The India star further said that he fancies his bouncer. 

“I had to bend my back a bit. I had to change my plans – realised that this was not the wicket to go full – and go for the short-ball, use it as a wicket-taking delivery. I fancy my bouncers. In ODIs you have to take on the short ball and that gives a chance to take wickets.”

Hardik Pandya also praised Rohit Sharma for handling him well/ 

“The captain has been fantastic on when I should bowl and when I should not, he has handled me nicely.”